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Exploring the ground between the geography of surprise and the sociology of unintended and unanticipated consequences

Authors: Dragos Simandan*, Brock University
Topics: Social Theory, Geographic Theory, Geographic Thought
Keywords: surprise; contingency; uncertainty; critical geography; unintended and unanticipated consequences
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


In my recent paper “Being surprised and surprising ourselves: a geography of personal and social change”, Progress in Human Geography , 2020, vol. 44, issue 1, https://doi.org/10.1177/0309132518810431, I proposed a research program organized around the concept of surprise and how it can help critical geographers make sense of processes of personal and social change. That intervention articulated literatures from critical geography, cognitive sciences, and the philosophy of history, but left out an engagement with the equally relevant literature on the sociology of unintended and unanticipated consequences of social action. The aim of this presentation is to address this oversight by offering a sequence of structured reflections on the potential for recent developments in the sociology of unintended and unanticipated consequences to inform the emerging research program on the critical geography of surprise.

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