Control, Constancy, and Change

The Architecture of Power and Ideology
Part of the Contemporary Systems Thinking book series (CST)


This chapter is a critical inquiry into the phenomena of systems stability and social change. It starts by suggesting that whereas the necessity for critical systems thinking in systems science is undeniable, its very slow appearance may be attributable to ideological reasons. The chapter proceeds by arguing that any penetrative account of social systems stability and change must lie in a historical rather than naturalistic explanation. This implies that the concepts of power, ideology, and social control must be confronted and addressed explicitly and not bypassed in silent embarrassment. From a conceptual analysis of power, ideology, and social control, this chapter arrives at the justification of its thesis: that systems stability and change tendencies are a consequence of a particular architecture of power and ideology in being. The critical implication is that when the existing social order is founded on coercive systems of exploitation and oppression, then the dissolution of the problem must lie in the radical transformation of that social order.


Social Control System Stability Social Order Change Tendency Dominant Ideology 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1996

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