Sociology and the Unintended

Robert Merton Revisited

by Adriana Mica (Volume editor) Arkadiusz Peisert (Volume editor) Jan Winczorek (Volume editor)
©2011 Edited Collection 390 Pages


This collection of essays aims to revive the sociological debate on the unintended, unanticipated and unexpected consequences of social action, as started by Robert K. Merton in a classic study of 1936. The contributing authors provide insights on both Merton’s work and the reception it received in the academia. They also go beyond his original formulations to encompass new theoretical perspectives and empirical interests that have emerged in the intellectual circumstances different from, or opposed to, his functionalist theory. The contributing authors delve into fields as diverse as education, law, politics, financial markets, consumption, risks and accidents, systemic transformation, organizations and institutional work, innovations, and Polish studies.


ISBN (Hardcover)
Publication date
2012 (July)
purposive social action norms normalization education social movement nation ethnicity
Frankfurt am Main, Berlin, Bern, Bruxelles, New York, Oxford, Warszawa, Wien, 2011. 390 pp., num. tables

Biographical notes

Adriana Mica (Volume editor) Arkadiusz Peisert (Volume editor) Jan Winczorek (Volume editor)

Adriana Mica is Assistant Professor at the University of Gdańsk. Her publications include studies of scandals in communist and early post-communist Romania, dog population management in Romania and Moldavia, and diffusion of innovations in this domain. Her research interests have recently focused on the topic of embeddedness and diffusion types of energy-saving innovations. Arkadiusz Peisert is Assistant Professor at the University of Gdańsk and the Pomeranian Academy in Słupsk. He is the chairperson of the Gdańsk Branch of the Polish Sociological Association, a collaborator of the Institute of Public Affairs, and a member of European Sociological Association’s Research Network 20. His fields of interest include civil society, innovations in democracy, public policy, evaluation studies, social history, and qualitative research methods. Jan Winczorek is Assistant Professor at the University of Warsaw. He has a vivid interest in many aspects of sociology of law and theoretical sociology. He is the author of the first full-length monograph of systems theory in Polish language and a number of other publications.


Title: Sociology and the Unintended