Sigurd M Nordli Oppegaard: "Social order in the de-differentiated society: Deleuzian social theory and the penal institution"

In this article, published in Current Sociology, Sigurd M. Nordli Oppegaard and Johan Fredrik Rye explore institutional de-differentiation in contemporary society through empirical material from Norwegian prisons.

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Abstract

The article problematises the assumption that modern society is characterised by institutional differentiation as a unidirectional process. Inspired by Deleuze’s sketch of the ‘society of control’, in this article Sigurd M. Nordli Oppegaard and Johan Fredrik Rye explore institutional de-differentiation in contemporary society.

They illustrate the process of de-differentiation by developments in the penal institution, employing empirical materials from the Norwegian prison system. They show how this institution increasingly integrates (imports) elements from other institutions while expanding (exports) its activities into said institutions, resulting in a blurring of institutional borders.

Furthermore, the question of institutional differentiation has been related to the question of social control in modern society. The authors discuss the characteristics of the social order of a de-differentiated society by drawing on Deleuze’s social theory and arguing that de-differentiation gives rise to forms of power and social logics no longer restricted by institutional confinements.

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Published Sep. 20, 2021 10:59 AM - Last modified Sep. 20, 2021 10:59 AM