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This book explains how gossip contributes to knowledge. Karen Adkins marshals scholarship and case studies spanning centuries and disciplines to show that although gossip is a constant activity in human history, it has rarely been studied as a source of knowledge. People gossip for many reasons, but most often out of desire to make sense of the world while lacking access to better options for obtaining knowledge. This volume explores how, when our access to knowledge is blocked, gossip becomes a viable path to knowledge attainment, one that involves the asking of questions, the exchange of ideas, and the challenging of preconceived notions.