social constructionism

(noun) The principle or theory that all reality and meaning is subjective and created through dynamic interactions with other individuals and groups.

Example: The meaning of words in a language such as the definitions of sociological terms.

Audio Pronunciation: (so·cial con·struc·tion·ism)

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Usage Notes

  • The theory was developed by Peter L. Berger and Thomas Luckmann in The Social Construction of Reality: A Treatise in the Sociology of Knowledge (1966).
  • The social constructionist perspective advocates that individuals and their differences are created or constructed through social processes (e.g. political, religious, and economic) rather than an innate quality within the individual. Furthermore, the categorization of individuals into group explains more about how society functions than about individuals.
  • Social constructionism is compared and contrasted to essentialism.
  • Essentialist ideas can exist within the framework of social contructionism but social contructionism cannot fit into the framework of essentialism.
  • Also called:
    • constructed reality
    • constructionism
    • constructivism
    • social construction of reality
    • social constructionist perspective
    • social constructivism
  • A (noun) social constructionist studies (adjective) social constructionistic or (adjective) social constructionistical topics (adverb) social constructionistically.

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