Workshop on Unintended Consequences the 75th Jubilee of a Sociological Idea. Institute of Philosophy, Sociology and Journalism, University of Gdansk 9-10 May 2011

Dear Colleagues,

University of Gdask in cooperation with Division of Sociology of Law and Gdask Branch of Polish Sociological Association invite scholars to join in a discussion about unintended consequences.

Many comments and theoretical developments that followed Robert K. Mertons work on unanticipated consequences of purposive social actions have focused on ramifying the initial conceptual apparatus. This involved debating semantical nuances of such terms as: unexpected, unrecognized, unaware, unforeseen, perverse, in addition to, or instead of, the ones of unintended and unanticipated. The workshop aims to summarize and revitalize this debate.

On the other hand, the purpose of the conference is to bridge the gap between the discussions on unintended consequences and many discourses that emerged in theoretical circumstances different from, or even opposed to, mertonian functionalism. Similar themes were undertaken by scholars active in fields as different as systems' theory, post-foucauldian governance studies or neoinstitutionalism. Since terms used in such studies range from risk through contingency to regulatory failures, it is worthwhile to see whether linguistic differences signify speaking of different phenomena.

Thus, the organizers of the workshop welcome all contributions relevant for sociology as an analysis of the unintended 75 years after the original term was coined. The event will take place at Institute of Philosophy, Sociology and Journalism, University of Gdask on 9-10 May, 2011. Papers will be invited for publication in a themed volume. For further details about the conference please visit:

Best regards,
Workshop Committee:

Klaus Bachmann University of Wrocaw
Piotr Gliski Polish Academy of Sciences, University of Biaystok, Polish Sociological Association
Jacek Kurczewski University of Warsaw
Jan Poleszczuk University of Biaystok
Brunon Synak University of Gdask
Piotr Sztompka Jagiellonian University in Krakow
Marek Zikowski Adam Mickiewicz University
Organizing Committee:
Cezary Obracht-Prondzyski
Micha Kaczmarczyk
Adriana Mica
Arkadiusz Peisert
Jan Winczorek
Maciej Brosz

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