Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The social construction of reality

The Social Construction of Reality (1966) page 1:"...if the reality of everyday life is to be understood, account must be taken of it's intrinsic character before we can proceed with sociological analysis proper. Everyday life presents itself as a reality interpreted by men and subjectively meaningful to them as a coherent world."

What is social constructionism?
Epistemology (not theory)
Social constructionism stems from epistemological position - not an explanatory theory. It is an approach to psychology (and other bodies of knowledge) which focuses on meaning and power. It focuses on meaning and power because its epistemological position dictates that meaning and power are all that we really can claim to know about. It is called ‘social constructionism’ because it aims to account for the ways in which phenomena are socially constructed. For example, consider the various constructions of ‘war’ which are currently in dispute. We can see that there are multiple ways of constructing what a ‘war’ is and what it would mean, that these are often mutually-exclusive, and that they are developed from various ideological and political interests (i.e. power). For constructionists, all phenomena are like this. (Note that this is different from a ‘social theory’ - it does not say that a behaviour like ‘aggression’ can be explained by social variables; it says that ‘aggression’ itself is a social construct).

"The matrix is a system Neo.."


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