Un concetto di movimento sociale. Contributi dalla teoria dei sistemi sociali
| STUDI DI SOCIOLOGIA - 2004 - 2
Moving from the perspective of social system theory, we present a concept of social movement.
According to this theory, two are the more important theses: a) the society is a communication system
distinguished from its own environment composed of human beings (the human environment), on
the one hand, and the natural environment (non-human environment), on the other hand; b) the
modern and contemporary society is a functional differentiated society. The starting point of analysis
is the survey within this society of a diffused perspective (risk perspective) addressed to observe the
risks (ecological risks) which damage the human and non-human environment of society. With
respect to these risks, society develops a special self-observation from which emerges a problematisation
of many kinds of decisions (economical, political, scientific, medical, etc.), to which these risks
are imputed. According to the hypothesis of this study, the social movements protesting against such
risks (ecological movements) are a form of this self-observation and self-problematisation. Their
social function is to make manifest by the communication the problems of compatibility between the
need of structural variability of the functional subsystems of society, on the one hand, and the need of
integrity of its own human and non-human environment, on the other hand.