Interests and the growth of uncertainty

Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 10 (3):157–168 (1980)
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The sociology of knowledge and related work in social psychology have been biased towards overvaluing shared perspectives and the attainment of certainty. This paper moves to fill a theoretical gap created by relative inattention to the roles of nonshared perspectives and uncertainty by outlining a middle-range theory of the connections between human interests and uncertainty. It is proposed that individuals and groups find instrumental uses for uncertainty, just as they do for other states of mind, and that these uses arise from particular interests which characteristically belong to certain types of individuals or groups



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