Sociology as Analysis of the Unintended: From the Problem of Ignorance to the Discovery of the Possible, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Sociology as Analysis of the Unintended

From the Problem of Ignorance to the Discovery of the Possible, 1st Edition

By Adriana Mica


190 pages

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Hardback: 9780415787017
pub: 2018-07-03
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315226477
pub: 2018-06-27
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Sociology of unintended consequences is commonly depicted as a framework for understanding the outcomes that run counter to the initial intentions of social actors because of factors such as ignorance, error and complexity. This conventional approach, however, is now undergoing change under the influence of more encompassing shifts in framing in social sciences. Indeed, in the last few years, the study of the unintended has evidently moved from the question "What are the sources of the unintended?" to the inquiry "What is it that makes the unintended possible?" or "What risks, but also opportunities, do the unintended entail?"

Explaining this puzzle in relation to the internal dynamics of sociology of unintended consequences, Adriana Mica makes an erudite journey in relation to its three main analytical frameworks, their semantic shifts, setbacks and theoretical revivals. Certainly, through the examination of the use of protective headgear in boxing, this volume renders explicitly the possibilistic turn not only in the specific research of the unintended, but in sociology more generally.

Presenting the contributions of leading sociology theorists in a new light, Sociology as Analysis of the Unintended will appeal to graduate students and researchers interested in fields such as theoretical sociology, sociology of substantive issues and sociology of sport.

Table of Contents



PART I. Sociology of unintended consequences

1. Analytical frameworks

2. Assumptions

3. Tricky processes

PART II. The three analytical frameworks

4. The unanticipated consequences of social action

5. Institutions as unintended consequences of social interaction

6. The mechanisms of reproduction of institutionalized practices

Conclusions: The turn towards the possible, counterfactual and indeterminacy


About the Author

Adriana Mica is Assistant Professor at the Institute of Social Prevention and Resocialisation, University of Warsaw, Poland

About the Series

Routledge Research in Ignorance Studies

This timely series brings together cutting-edge scholarship in the emergent field of studies on the flipside of knowledge. It addresses the blossoming interest – within an increasing number of disciplines – in the uses and deployment of strategic not knowing, the right to nonknowledge, of forgetting, of producing and keeping secrets.

From classical perspectives on the unknown to the most recent analyses in theology, brain research, decision making, economics, political science, ethnic discrimination and racism studies, feminist theory, post-colonial studies, and science and technology studies, this interdisciplinary series will serve as an indispensable resource for both students and scholars. The Routledge Research in Ignorance Studies series places the study of ignorance in historical and interdisciplinary context.


Series editors:

Matthias Gross is Professor and Head of the Department of Urban and Environmental Sociology, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research, UFZ, Leipzig, Germany –

Linsey McGoey is Senior Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Essex –

Michael Smithson is a Professor in the Research School of Psychology at The Australian National University –


Editorial board:

Claudia Aradau, King’s College

Joanna Kempner, Rutgers

Charles Mills, CUNY Graduate Center

John Quiggin, University of Queensland

Ilya Somin, George Mason

Tom Slater, University of Edinburgh


Routledge contact:

Emily Briggs (Commissioning Editor) –

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General