Definition of Social Constructionism
(noun) The theory that all reality and meaning is subjective and created through dynamic interactions with other individuals and groups.
Examples of Social Constructionism
- The meaning of words in a language such as the definitions of sociological terms.
- The social construction of race.
Social Constructionism Pronunciation
Syllabification: so·cial con·struc·tion·ism
International Phonetic Alphabet
- American English – /ˈsoʊʃəl kənˈstrʌkʃənɪz(ə)m/
- British English – /ˈsəʊʃəl kənˈstrʌkʃənɪzm/
- Plural: social constructionisms
- Theory developed by Peter Berger (1929–2017) and Thomas Luckman (1927–2016) in The Social Construction of Reality: A Treatise in the Sociology of Knowledge (1966).
- The social constructionist perspective contends 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 groups explains more about how society functions than about individuals.
- Social constructionism is contrasted to essentialism.
- Essentialist ideas can exist within the framework of social constructionism but social constructionism cannot fit into the framework of essentialism.
- Also called:
- constructed reality
- social construction
- social construction of reality
- social constructionist perspective
- A (noun) social constructionist studies (adjective) social constructionistic or (adjective) social constructionistical topics (adverb) social constructionistically.
- “We can say that an act is criminal when it offends strong and defined states of the collective consciousness . . . In other words, we must not say that an action offends the common consciousness because it is criminal, but rather that it is criminal because it shocks the common consciousness. We do not condemn it because it is a crime, but it is a crime because we condemn it” (Durkheim  2004:24).
- 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, Erich, and Nachman Ben-Yehuda. 2009. Moral Panics: The Social Construction of Deviance. 2nd ed. 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, John. 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
- agreement reality
- linguistic relativity
- social constructionism
Durkheim, Émile.  2004. “The Division of Labour in Society.” Pp. 19–38 in Readings from Emile Durkheim. Rev. ed., edited and translated by K. Thompson. New York: Routledge.
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Wikipedia contributors. (N.d.) Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation. (https://en.wikipedia.org/).
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Cite the Definition of Social Constructionism
ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)
Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “social constructionism.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved June 5, 2023 (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 June 5, 2023. https://sociologydictionary.org/social-constructionism/.
MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)
“social constructionism.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2013. Web. 5 Jun. 2023. <https://sociologydictionary.org/social-constructionism/>.