Доктор социологических наук,
профессор кафедры социологии,
Российский университет дружбы народов
Ведущий научный сотрудник,
Центр фундаментальной социологии,
Национальный исследовательский университет
«Высшая школа экономики»
Адрес: ул. Миклухо-Маклая, д. 6,
Москва, Российская Федерация 117198
Margaret Heffernan. Uncharted: How Uncertainty Can Power Change
(London: Simon & Schuster, 2021).
Being a sociologist gives you the right (or privilege) to broaden your readings far beyond “purely” scientific works. There are at least two legitimate reasons for not being too choosy: on the one hand, sociologists need to get out of their “ivory towers” in order to interpret their scientific findings correctly (popular non-fiction provides a better understanding of social representations and beliefs), while on the other hand, sociologists are often reproached for being too theoretical and for missing (or deliberately omitting) practical points (popular non-fiction provides an insight into the work of practitioners we design and conduct our research for). The current pandemic (for the foreseeable future, we will be mentioning COVID-19 as a reference point) undermined the expert claims of science in general, not to mention the social sciences that have always been criticized for being not scientific enough as too subjective and too value-loaded. Today, even natural sciences are hit by criticism from all sides: it is one thing that we still cannot travel in space, which is of little importance for our everyday life, while it is quite another thing that you do not know how to recover from a new illness which is either a nontypical flu not to be too scared of or a new “plague” of our time to be terrified of. The mass media, governments, and experts (even previously trusted ones) do not provide clear recommendations on what to do, change their recommendations all the time, quarrel in indecent debates on TV shows, and constantly accuse, fine, and punish you for doing something wrong in your private life without providing clear and convincing (scientifically and rhetorically) explanations on what is right to do.