Social Constructionism

Social Constructionism

Social constructionism is a postmodern perspective that emphasizes the socially constructed nature of knowledge. Underscoring the linguistic and relational nature of all knowledge, it emphasizes personal, social, and cultural processes that inform, and limit, the development of knowledge. In contrast to modernist notions of reality as singular, stable, universal, and nonhistorical, emphasize that what is taken to be real represents consensually agreed-upon knowledge that results from coordinated, relationally contingent discourses. What is taken as knowledge or truth is therefore contextually and temporary bound; what is true in one time context or culture may not be true in other times, contexts, or cultures.

Social constructionists place a premium on understanding processes of because they emphasize that what is known is inseparable from the processes of inquiry that give rise to knowledge. The role of dialogue, broadly understood as coordinated actions among people, is central to the construction of knowledge. Given the relational embeddedness of knowledge, social constructionists blur the boundary between the personal and social domains, challenging traditional notions of individuality or the self.

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