(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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- 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
- 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.
- Word origin of “social” and “constructionist” – Online Etymology Dictionary: etymonline.com
- Berger, Peter L., and Thomas Luckmann. 1966. The Social Construction of Reality: A Treatise in the Sociology of Knowledge. Garden City, NY: Doubleday.
- Burr, Vivien. 2015. Social Constructionism. 3rd ed. New York: Routledge.
- Bury, M. R. 1986. “Social Constructionism and the Development of Medical Sociology.” Sociology of Health & Illness 8(2):137–69. doi:10.1111/1467-9566.ep11340129.
- Goode, E., and N. Ben-Yehuda. 2010. Moral Panics: The Social Construction of Deviance. Oxford Wiley-Blackwell.
- Gergen, Kenneth J. 2015. An Invitation to Social Construction. 3rd ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.
- Gergen, Kenneth J., and Mary McCanney Gergen. 2003. Social Construction: A Reader. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.
- Hacking, Ian. 2000. The Social Construction of What? Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
- Hannigan, J. 2006. Environmental Sociology. 2nd ed. London: Routledge.
- Lyddon, William J. 1995. “Cognitive Therapy and Theories of Knowing: A Social Constructionist View.” Journal of Counseling & Development 73(6):579–85. doi:10.1002/j.1556-6676.1995.tb01799.x.
- Motyl, Alexander J. 2010. “The Social Construction of Social Construction: Implications for Theories of Nationalism and Identity Formation.” Nationalities Papers 38(1):59–71. doi:10.1080/00905990903394508.
- Rosenblum, Karen Elaine, and Toni-Michelle Travis. 2016. The Meaning of Difference: American Constructions of Race, Sex and Gender, Social Class, Sexual Orientation, and Disability. 7th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill.
- Siu, Wanda. 2009. “Social Construction of Reality: The Tobacco Issue.” Critical Public Health 19(1):23–44. doi:10.1080/09581590801995216.
- Stein, Edward, ed. 1992. Forms of Desire: Sexual Orientation and the Social Constructionist Controversy. London: Routledge.
- The Social Construction of Reality – Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia: wikipedia.org
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How to Cite the Definition of Social Constructionism
ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)
Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “social constructionism.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved December 12, 2018 (https://sociologydictionary.org/social-constructionism/).
APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)
social constructionism. (2013). In K. Bell (Ed.), Open education sociology dictionary. Retrieved from https://sociologydictionary.org/social-constructionism/
Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date – Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition)
Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “social constructionism.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Accessed December 12, 2018. https://sociologydictionary.org/social-constructionism/.
MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)
“social constructionism.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2013. Web. 12 Dec. 2018. <https://sociologydictionary.org/social-constructionism/>.