Innovations and Reproductions in Cultures and Societies
(IRICS) Vienna, 9 - 11 december 2005

<< Gesellschaftliche Reproduktion und kulturelle Innovation. Aus semiotischer Sicht / Social Reproduction and Cultural Innovation. From a Semiotic Point of View

The Melting Point of Social Reproduction and Cultural Innovation through an Advanced Version of Structural Holes

Symeon Degermentzidis (University of Crete & Thessaloniki)



The theoretical background of structural holes, as formulated by Ronald Burt, gives us the incentive to elaborate his thought and work out a methodological tool for tracing the relation of ties and effectiveness in networks functioning as mirrors of social strategies. In this sense, our aim is to achieve a dynamic approach to the interwoven relations that develop among different factors, in order to establish the axiom of social reproduction in a dialectical relation between individual and collectiveness: the capitalistic Weltanschauung reflects the mechanism that Burt describes as index of structural equivalence, while specifying the scornful role played by cohesion, describing it as an index of redundancy. Through the adoption of the above policy, the structural cut into pieces degrades the directness of certain contacts, given that the revival of the relations with new subjects plays here the leading role. Thus, the continuous enrichment that the loose ties promise runs the risk of promoting the mechanistic character of a social reproduction with utilitarian orientation. - On the other hand, in the suffocating dead end of business racing, it is both permissible and essential to insert the compensatory mechanism of innovation in this policy, utilizing the role of structural holes. The principle of the rejection of repetition as structural function provides the creative pledges of an original contribution of mostly top executives to the strengthening of forward-looking social considerations. The interplay between social and cultural ties may be achieved in the professional field, as long as the dialectical relation between managers and artists is brought into operation: the former, as orthodox vehicles of social reproduction, must engraft the advantages offered by structural holes, in order to reinforce their social sensibility and multidimensionality; meanwhile, the latter, as orthodox vehicles of cultural innovation, are allowed to orientate the aesthetic character of their works towards the social distinctive features that the needs of the neoliberal labor market create in our days, where the ulterior purpose is to form a creative inter-semiotic melting point.

Innovationen und Reproduktionen in Kulturen und Gesellschaften (IRICS) Wien, 9. bis 11. Dezember 2005

WEBDESIGN: Peter R. Horn 2005-10-09