Social constructions of ignorance

09 February 2012

Economy and Society

Volume 41, Issue 1, 2012 Special Issue: Strategic unknowns: towards a sociology of ignorance DOI:10.1080/03085147.2011.637335


To make sense of the complexity of the world so that they can act, individuals and institutions need to develop simplified, self-consistent versions of that world. The process of doing so means that much of what is known about the world needs to be excluded from those versions, and in particular that knowledge which is in tension or outright contradiction with those versions must be expunged. This is ‘uncomfortable knowledge’.