Proceedings of the 58th Annual Meeting of the ISSS - 2014 United States, Proceedings of the 58th Meeting of ISSS, Washington DC, USA, July 2014

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Toward the Structuring of Meanings of The Mexican Day of the Death Ritual, under a Complex Systems approach

Berna Leticia Valle Canales, Oswaldo Morales-Matamoros, Isaías Badillo-Piña, Ricardo Tejeida Padilla, Ignacio Peón Escalante


The objective of ethnographic work has among its objectives to describe human behaviour in society and the ways in which social institutions are structured. Therefore, describing the inverse processes is a fundamental part of ethnography, i.e. the effects of social institutions on the human behaviour and the consequences of social behaviour could change or remain in social institutions. The mathematical modelling of changes and continuities in social institutions is one of the issues for the hard sciences and social sciences subjects. In this paper we present to the reader a proposal to formalize the structure of one of the Mexican social institutions phenomenon called “The Mexican Day of the Death Ritual”.

The Ritual of Deaths in Central and Southern Mexico has certain qualities that have been transmitted from generation to generation through Sign Systems under rules and patterns of communication-restricted interaction, these systems are called social institutions, they will be understood from the Systemic Science comparable to regular lattices and complex network. Such as the interaction of human groups in shared social spaces like public squares and cemeteries realize connectivity between individuals in the form of long-range connections or random long-range connections.

The combined use of two types of networks (local and random) to model Complex Systems of Human Activity is called small world networks. Essentially the topological connection from a logic of classes can be supplemented regularly where the probability (p) is p = 0, or completely random where p = 1. However, the threshold of interest for social topological space networks is intermediate between 0 and 1: 0> p> 1.

Through Ashby’s Law of requisite variety, describes the qualitative-quantitative properties that are governing the internal structure of the network, and the description of network changes. The objective to observe this critical site under the Law of Requisite Variety is to test whether the postulate of Ashby can be applied to conscious systems (human acts and vital systems), i.e., testing whether the relationship that serves as the regulator (power law) acts to limit the outcome to a particular subset of variables, or to maintain some variables within certain limits, or even to hold some variables constant.

According to the proposal of K. Wilber (2000) conscious systems are quantitative and qualitative, in such a way that the most complex system includes the simplest system (components, relationships and emergent properties). Based on this perspective, the qualitative dimension is an emergent property of systems that handle conscious interpretative contextual information, something that is not considered in Ashby’s law.

Finally, this article will help to understand how the cultural and spiritual heritage is transmitted through time. 

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