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Social Construction Family Sociology Essay

“Social Construction of Reality” Essay

1468 WordsNov 24th, 20126 Pages

“Social Construction of Reality”

Reality is not an objective thing that is imposed upon us, but is created by us. Reality does not exist externally but internally, as each individual or group interprets it, and is always changing. Due to these concepts sociologists often speak about the “social construction of reality” which is essential to understand when attempting to explain human social behavior. Since realty is the basis of people’s actions, W. I. Thomas states, “If people define situations as real, they are real in their consequences”. The “social construction of reality”, human social behavior and W. I. Thomas’s statement are three concepts that fit hand in hand and are important when trying to explain one another.…show more content…

This is evident when one dissects the idea of the enslavement of Africans, known as the “white mans burden”. Whites defined blacks as less than human, savages or creatures that could not survive off of their own minimal cognitive reasoning. This understanding was the basis of slavery. Another example is the idea of marriage and divorce, and how the institution is ever changing. Up until the early 1900’s marriage was viewed as a lifelong commitment, divorce was “taboo” and shunned as being immoral and the abandonment of adult responsibility. In 1945 sociologists Ernest Burgess and Harvey Locke noted that couples were looking at marriage as less of a lifelong commitment and more of an arrangement that was based on attraction and feelings, it became a situation that could be broken when feelings changed. Divorce became more common and was defined more positive as freedom and new beginnings (Essentials of Sociology, pg. 16). An example of another “reality” is how from person to person there is no true definition of success. The letter grade “B” brings on different emotions depending on the individual. One student would jump for joy to pass with the “B” while others would be sad, even cry. In actuality “B” is just a shape, a letter of the English alphabet, given on paper but what the person defines it as gives it meaning to their reality, and then forget about the “+” or “-“ given accompanied with the letter grade. Our social construction of reality

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Social Construction of Childhood Essay

1286 Words6 Pages

1. Introduction
Social constructionism gives meaning to phenomenon in social context and connections between culture and society build up realities in their circumstances. The studies of this idea have been conducted more than thirty years by a number of North American, British and continental writers (Burr, 1995). However, in childhood studies this notion appears later on. It is mostly held universally, childhood is a stage that biologically existing in human life in early years. It should be considered this childhood is constructed in the society. As a social being, it brings into the mind the relationship between society and child, inevitably. However, the dominant understanding of childhood attributes biological and social…show more content…

This paper aims to suggest social construction is an important approach when it comes to explain childhood phenomenon, but it must be considerate biological components.
Background theories of Social constructionism
Starting with an overview of social constructionism in very general terms leads to build more explicit an understanding of child and childhood in a social world. The notion of social constructionism is defined in diverse disciplines and instead of generating a single description there are a number of thoughts. “It is sometimes called a movement, at other times a position, a theory, a theoretical orientation, an approach; psychologists remain unsure of its status” (Stam 2001, p. 294)”. Vivien (1995, p. 10) points out that the origin of social constructionism stems from two to three hundred years ago in the period of enlightenment, modernism and postmodernism. Berger and Luckmann’ (1966) book The Social Construction of Reality as the first book to have the title of “social construction”, has made an influential contribution in recent studies (Hacking, 1999). In this book, questioning everyday life realities and giving examples from it, shows the importance of social relations and the language that we used. Hacking’s (1999) The Social Construction of What? offers up-to-date and logical instances which enable us to comprehend these aspects. He lists a number of things that can be

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