On social constructionism

What is a social construct? A rather arbitrary intangible concept created by society. Therefore, under the assumption that X is a social construct, one interpretation of X is not more truthful than another. For example, if gender is a social construct, by definition, the idea that there are 50+ genders is neither more or less truthful than the idea that there are two.

The concept of social constructs is itself very much a social construct – as is any sociological theory. Therefore, calling X a social construct to show that X is irrelevant is… irrelevant.

Those who claim to be at war with a given social construct, on the basis of it being a social construct, need to do more than highlight its arbitrary nature, because their proposed views are equally arbitrary, or offer an alternative that is qualitatively different than just a new set of social constructs.

If you substitute the word culture for social construct above, it’s easier to understand. Of course, if you feel that the concept of social construct is qualitatively different to the concept of culture, please convince me, so that I can stop worry about theory and just join the cool kids.

Looking at the broader picture of social constructionism, I don’t really buy into its fundamentals because I don’t think that perception changes reality, just like I don’t think that Photoshop takes the cellulite off Kim Kardashian’s behind.

 

 

Published by

Dr Martina Feyzrakhmanova

I am a hospital doctor and founder of an education platform. Avid reader and writer of introspective blogs.

7 thoughts on “On social constructionism”

  1. If “reality is what you stub your toe on in the dark” (can’t remember now who said that), then (sorry, not meaning to sound harsh, but) it doesn’t really matter whether you buy into the fundamentals of social constructionism or not. If you live with other people in a society – as I gather you do, because here you are – there are some social constructs that affect your life and your thinking, whether you recognize them as such or not.

    For example, the shared understanding that there are “cool kids.” Or the shared understanding of what it means to be pretty (and that being pretty is a “good thing,” and that cellulite is not part of it).

    Liked by 2 people

    1. “For example, the shared understanding that there are “cool kids.” Or the shared understanding of what it means to be pretty (and that being pretty is a “good thing,” and that cellulite is not part of it).” – I would have just called it a culture.

      Liked by 1 person

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