Critical Sociocybernetics and Mediascapes in North America: Prospective Scenarios

Monday, 11 July 2016: 14:45
Location: Hörsaal 15 (Juridicum)
Oral Presentation
Juan Carlos BARRON-PASTOR, National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), Mexico
The broad goal of the research is developing the field of “Critical Sociocybernetics”. This incipient field intends studying social systems considering power inequalities and seeking the critique and transformation of those systems for society’s viability (Barron, 2014). It is based on the one hand that social systems can be captured by very exclusive sectors of societies aiming to enhance its power in order to control territories and populations.  On the other hand, it is affirmed that social systems perform in complex ways that can be studied using sociocybernetics’ tools; but not to describe neither naturalize its functioning, but all the opposite: to exhibit its forms of control and the mechanisms it uses to reproduce its power impairing societies.

Mass-media is an adaptive social system of communication that excludes corporeal presence among interacting actors (Luhmann, 1996). Mass-media perform a fragmented collective imaginary, which is autonomous and parallel to individual and collective imaginaries (Castoriadis, 1998). Hegemonic mass-media system is performing autopoietically for the better of its owners, not of society; hegemonic mass-media is an adaptive system seeking the reproduction and expansion of its power (Barrón, 2014). Mass-media could be arguably considered an anticipatory system. ‘‘An anticipatory system is a system containing a predictive model of itself and/or its environment, which allows it to change state at an instant in accord with the model’s predictions pertaining to a later instant’’ (Rosen, 1985: 341). Rosen, and more recently, Poli (2010) have explained that anticipatory systems enable certain controllers that allow them forestalling.

How do the North-American mass-media system perform in manners that allow us to infer those controllers? This paper aims to identify how controllers would work into the mass-media system, and eventually identifying if controllers could be emerging nodes inserted in other systems in North America, and/or within media corporations.