Social constructionism is the notion that people’s understanding of reality is partially, if not entirely, socially situated. Gender is a social identity that needs to be contextualized. Individuals internalize social expectations for gender norms and behave accordingly.
Definition of Social Constructionism
(noun) The theory that all reality and meaning is subjective and created through dynamic interactions with other individuals and groups.
Gender is thus “socially constructed” in the sense that, unlike biological sex, gender is a product of society. If society determines what is masculine or feminine, then society can change what is considered masculine, feminine, or anything in between. … Any individual is free to identify their gender as they see fit.
Simply put, social constructs do not have inherent meaning. The only meaning they have is the meaning given to them by people. For example, the idea that pink is for girls and blue is for boys is an example of a social construct related to gender and the color of items.
Think of cocktail parties, football games, bar mitzvahs, political rallies, and even nations. These are all social realities.
Social constructionism is the theory that people develop knowledge of the world in a social context, and that much of what we perceive as reality depends on shared assumptions.
Social constructionism is a theory of knowledge in sociology and communication theory that posits that phenomena do not have a foundation outside the mental and linguistic representation that people and societies develop about them throughout their history, and which therefore becomes their shared reality.
Expectations about attributes and behaviours appropriate to women or men and about the relations between women and men – in other words, gender – are shaped by culture. … Gender (like race or ethnicity) functions as an organizing principle for society because of the cultural meanings given to being male or female.
Social constructs are things that emerge with the shared experiences of a civilization or society. These include shared knowledge and systems that are the basis for communication, cooperation, productivity, peaceful coexistence and quality of life.
Time is one of the most basic examples of something that is socially constructed. We collectively create the meaning of time—it has no predetermined meaning until we give it meaning. … Cultures often mark time based on important events relative to their belief system or major political events.
Social construction theory is about how we make sense of things. It assumes that we ‘construct’ mental representations, using collective notions as building blocks. In this view, happiness is regarded as a social construction, comparable to notions like ‘beauty’ and ‘fairness’.
the consensus of attitudes, opinions, and beliefs held by members of a group or society.
Such social realities can dictate how we view the world around us and, in turn, influence our choices and decisions. Given the importance of social realities, John and Ken discuss how is it possible for humans to bring such things into being simply through agreeing that they exist.
Social reality does require social acts, namely interactions of a certain kind among individuals. But social acts are essentially different from individual intentional acts and personal experiences, in that they always involve more than one subject.
Social constructionism observes how the interactions of individuals with their society and the world around them gives meaning to otherwise worthless things and creates the reality of the society.
The main criticisms levelled against social constructionism can be summarised by its perceived conceptualisation of realism and relativism. It is accused of being anti-realist, in denying that knowledge is a direct perception of reality (Craib 1997).