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The Theory of Social Pulsation


Ivo Komsic

The Theory of Social Pulsation is a new social theory elaborated from the social phenomenology and philosophy of sciences’ standpoint. It represents an innovative interpretation of social phenomena postulated as active states of social actors including individuals, social groups, and social facts (organizations, institutions, systems). As an active state of social actors, pulsation is defined by eight variables that constitute social phenomena as a whole: (a) intention, (b) reaction, (c) reflection, (d) communication, (e) institutionalization, (f) internalization, (g) structuration, and (h) innovation.

Ivo Komsic argues that social states are pulsating and within those states, social causality is transferred from one social actor to another. Social actors continuously transfer social causality from one to another, depending on the intensity of its pulsation. Balanced or unbalanced, functional or dysfunctional, consensual or imposed, a system will be classified in the presence or absence of one of these phenomena, by its greater or lesser intensity. The theory posits a new paradigm that tends to overcome the "eternal" problem in sociology—relations between individuals as social actors and social structure, that is, "social statics" and "social dynamics," the role of the great historical personalities and the "objective law of history," freedom and necessity in social action, micro and macro social levels.

The model of social communication analyzed in the book can be used as a general model of social and political communication, particularly in multiethnic and multicultural societies considering the contemporary state of affairs globally.

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Proposition III


Social actors maintain and determine the possibilities of all their states.


Social pulsation can neither envelop or produce social states that are outside the possibilities of social actors.

The state of social actors is an active state. The possibilities of that state are the possibilities of action. This action is determined by the intentions of social actors—individuals, institutions, and other social facts. Different social actors fulfill intentions and obtain objective forms differently.

With individuals, intentions form through a triple relationship: toward nature, toward other people, and toward the self. Thus, the possibilities of action are on one side determined by nature and its laws, on the other by the intentions and demands of other people, and on the third side by the demands toward the self. According to these intentions we can classify action as goal-instrumental, value-rational, strategic, and communicative.

Through its laws, nature has limited purposeful rationality only on one side—the external one. On the other side, this activity is progressive and inconclusive because it depends on a person’s inner purposes and needs that are constantly opening. This action acquires its external form in objects through which man satisfies his needs and thus develops both the self and←33 | 34→ the objective world. This activity gets its consistent and rational form from these tools.

The communicative action is an action toward another person and it differs from the purpose-rational in that it...

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