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system: Arrangement of units that function together.
  -The Merriam Webster® Pocket Dictionary: Fourth Edition. 1989.

[This page was part of an early version of Cosma and is here for historical/archival purposes.
Please visit this page to see the current version Cosma, system.]

General systems theory is one of the main bodies of knowledge that will be used for framing the issues in communications systems at the general level as well as within the human, media and knowledge systems.

[The following is an outline of four key types of systems issues or concepts.
Specific issues within each of these categories are in the resource file. ]

1. Systemic and Descriptive Factors
Here we are dealing with concepts that make important distinctions, classify large quantities of data in relevant ways, and outline the basic structure and processes of various types of systems. The concepts deal with types of systems, the internal organization of systems, and systems and their surroundings.
2. Regulation and Maintenance
The concepts under consideration here deal with the regulation, control, and stabilization of systems.
3. Dynamics and Change
These factors deal with problems of non-disruptive change, responses to altered environmental conditions, and internally generated processes of change.
4. Decline and Breakdown
This final group of concepts emphasizes problems of disruption, dissolution and breakdown in systems.
(Young, 1964)

In addition to the above framework, other writings about general systems theory will be referenced
(e.g. Bertalanffy, 1962 and Davidson, 1983).

on the web

Cosma, Knowledge Page

© Mary E. Hopper [MEHopper] | MEHopper@TheWorld.com [posted 03/03/03 | revised 11/18/08]