Social constructionism

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Social constructionism

  1. 1. Social constructionism and social constructivism Dr Abolghasem Arabiun, Faculty member of Tehran university Created by:Elnaz davari, Gratuate student of Tehran University PDF created with pdfFactory Pro trial version www.pdffactory.com
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  3. 3. Social constructionism and social constructivism • Social constructionism and social constructivism are sociological theories of knowledge that consider how social phenomena develop in social contexts • When we say that something is socially constructed, we are focusing on its dependence on contingent variables of our social selves PDF created with pdfFactory Pro trial version www.pdffactory.com
  4. 4. assumptions • The underlying assumptions on which social constructivism is typically seen to be based are: • reality, • knowledge, • and learning PDF created with pdfFactory Pro trial version www.pdffactory.com
  5. 5. Reality • Social constructivists believe that reality is constructed through human activity. Members of a society together invent the properties of the world (Kukla, 2000). For the social constructivist, reality cannot be discovered: it does not exist prior to its social invention. PDF created with pdfFactory Pro trial version www.pdffactory.com
  6. 6. Knowledge • To social constructivists, knowledge is also a human product, and is socially and culturally constructed (Ernest, 1999; Gredler, 1997; Prat & Floden, 1994). Individuals create meaning through their interactions with each other and with the environment they live in. PDF created with pdfFactory Pro trial version www.pdffactory.com
  7. 7. Learning • Social constructivists view learning as a social process. It does not take place only within an individual, nor is it a passive development of behaviors that are shaped by external forces (McMahon, 1997). Meaningful learning occurs when individuals are engaged in social activities. PDF created with pdfFactory Pro trial version www.pdffactory.com
  8. 8. social constructionism • A major focus of social constructionism is to uncover the ways in which individuals and groups participate in the creation of their perceived social reality. It involves looking at the ways social phenomena are created, institutionalized, and made into tradition by humans. A socially constructed reality is one that is seen as an ongoing, dynamic process that is reproduced by people acting on their interpretation and their knowledge of it. PDF created with pdfFactory Pro trial version www.pdffactory.com
  9. 9. Social constructionism vs. social constructivism • Although both social constructionism and social constructivism deal with ways in which social phenomena develop, they are distinct. Social constructionism refers to the development of phenomena relative to social contexts while social constructivism refers to an individual's making meaning of knowledge within a social context (Vygotsky 1978). For this reason, social constructionism is typically described as a sociological construct whereas social constructivism is typically described as a psychological construct. PDF created with pdfFactory Pro trial version www.pdffactory.com
  10. 10. Social constructionism and postmodernism • Some have gone so far as to attribute the rise of cultural studies (the cultural turn) to social constructionism. • Within the social constructionist strand of postmodernism, the concept of socially constructed reality stresses the on-going mass-building of worldviews by individuals in dialectical interaction with society at a time. PDF created with pdfFactory Pro trial version www.pdffactory.com
  11. 11. Degrees of social construction • Though social constructionism contains a diverse array of theories and beliefs, it can generally be divided into two camps: • Weak social constructionism and • strong social constructionism. PDF created with pdfFactory Pro trial version www.pdffactory.com
  12. 12. Weak social constructionism • Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker writes that "some categories really are social constructions: they exist only because people tacitly agree to act as if they exist. Examples include money, tenure , citizenship, decorations for bravery, and the presidency of the United States." PDF created with pdfFactory Pro trial version www.pdffactory.com
  13. 13. Strong social constructionism • Strong social constructionists oppose the existence of "brute" facts. That a mountain is a mountain (as opposed to just another undifferentiated clump of earth) is socially engendered, and not a brute fact. That the concept of mountain is universally admitted in all human languages reflects near-universal human consensus, but does not make it an objective reality. • This leads to the view that all reality is a social construction, which is close to the view of many post- modernist philosophers like Jean-Francois Lyotard, who claim that our view of reality is really a narrative, a discourse rooted in consensus. PDF created with pdfFactory Pro trial version www.pdffactory.com
  14. 14. Thanks for your attention PDF created with pdfFactory Pro trial version www.pdffactory.com

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