By Vivien Burr

ISBN-10: 0203133021

ISBN-13: 9780203133026

Advent to Social Constructionism is a readable and demanding account of social constructionism for college students new to the sphere. concentrating on the problem to psychology that social constructionism poses, Viven Burr examines the proposal of 'personality' to demonstrate the rejection of essentialism by means of social constructionists. This questions psychology's conventional knowing of the individual. She then exhibits how the learn of language can be utilized as a spotlight for our figuring out of human behaviour and event. this is often endured by means of reading 'discourses' and their position in developing social phenomena, and the connection among discourse and tool. besides the fact that, the issues linked to those analyses also are in actual fact outlined.Many humans think that one of many goals of social technology might be to lead to social switch. Viven Burr analyses what percentages there could be for swap in social constructionist money owed. She additionally addresses what social constructionism ability in perform to analyze within the social sciences, and contains a few directions on project discourse analysis.Introduction to Social Constructionism is a useful and transparent consultant for all puzzled scholars who are looking to start to comprehend this tough sector.

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Sample text

It does not explain how the meaning of words can change over time, and it does not explain how words can carry numerous meanings, depending upon who is speaking, to whom and to what purpose. Some examples will illustrate this. The words ‘It’s been a lovely sunny day today’ have one meaning when spoken by the TV weather reporter, but quite another when spoken by acquaintances who feel they cannot pass each other on the street without a polite exchange. The word ‘gay’ in the past used to mean ‘happy and joyful’ (and still can) but now also has a homosexual meaning, and the meaning we take from it depends upon the context in which it is used, who is using it and why.

We can now say that our identity is constructed out of the discourses culturally available to us, and which we draw upon in our communications with other people. People’s identities are achieved by a subtle interweaving of many different ‘threads’. There is the ‘thread’ of age (for example they may be a child, a young adult or very old), that of class (depending on their occupation, income and level of education), ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation and so on. All these (and many more) are woven together to produce the fabric of a person’s identity.

Social constructionism certainly cautions us against taking at face value our experience of ourselves and the world, and suggests that our usual understanding of ourselves may be misleading. But in saying that you have no ‘true’ self, it does not imply that the selves we inhabit are therefore false. ‘True’ and ‘false’ become inappropriate ways of thinking about selfhood. It is possible to say that we have no ‘true’ self but that we have a number of selves which are equally real. Our experiences of ourselves are real enough, and there is a sense in which we give the concept of ‘personality’ real existence through the way in which we live it and act it out in our encounters with each other.

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An Introduction to Social Constructionism by Vivien Burr


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