Unintended Consequences

Unintended Consequences

Many authors have argued that unintended consequences are not just an issue among others but "the" theme of sociology. Popper (1962) argues that if social science is necessary, it is precisely because some events (most of that interest) are not explained by the simple will of the people, demanding objective study of the events and their consequences. Boudon (1981, 1986) defended the same idea in a more nuanced way and more accurately, and many others, not to pass judgment on what should be, have focused their interest in this type of phenomenon (Elias, 1984; Schelling, 2006). The analysis of the intentions of our actions and their unwanted or foreseen consequences allows us to understand how societies work. Many historical facts are probably "unintentional." But, most continuous or changing life forms must be interpreted as a mixture of intentional (social reproduction) and unintentional consequences (social change).


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