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Social constructionism or the social construction of reality (also social concept) is a theory of knowledge in sociology and communication theory that examines the development of jointly constructed understandings of the world that form the basis for shared assumptions about reality. The theory centers on the notions that human beings rationalize their experience by creating models of the social world and share and reify these models through language.
Social constructionism questions what is defined by humans and society to be reality. Therefore, social constructs can be different based on the society and the events surrounding the time period in which they exists. An example of a social construct is money or the concept of currency, as people in society have agreed to give it importance/ value. Another example of a social construction is the concept of self/ self-identity. Charles Cooley stated based on his Looking-Glass-Self theory: "I am not who you think I am; I am not who I think I am; I am who I think you think I am." This demonstrates how people in society construct ideas or concepts that may not exist without the existence of people or language to validate those concepts.
There are weak and strong social constructs. Weak social constructs rely on brute facts (which are fundamental facts that are difficult to explain/ understand, such as quarks) or institutional facts (which are formed from social conventions). Strong social constructs rely on the human perspective and knowledge that doesn't just exist, but is rather constructed by society.
A social construct or construction concerns the meaning, notion, or connotation placed on an object or event by a society, and adopted by the inhabitants of that society with respect to how they view or deal with the object or event. In that respect, a social construct as an idea would be widely accepted as natural by the society, but may or may not represent a reality shared by those outside the society, and would be an "invention or artifice of that society".[need quotation to verify]
A major focus of social constructionism is to uncover the ways in which individuals and groups participate in the construction of their perceived social reality. It involves looking at the ways social phenomena are developed, institutionalized, known, and made into tradition by humans.
In terms of background, social constructionism is rooted in "symbolic interactionism" and "phenomenology." With Berger and Luckman's The Social Construction of Reality published in 1966, this concept found its hold. More than four decades later, a sizable number of theory and research pledged to the basic tenet that people "make their social and cultural worlds at the same time these worlds make them." It is a viewpoint that uproots social processes "simultaneously playful and serious, by which reality is both revealed and concealed, created and destroyed by our activities." It provides a substitute to the "Western intellectual tradition" where the researcher "earnestly seeks certainty in a representation of reality by means of propositions."
In social constructionist terms, "taken-for-granted realities" are cultivated from "interactions between and among social agents;" furthermore, reality is not some objective truth "waiting to be uncovered through positivist scientific inquiry." Rather, there can be "multiple realities that compete for truth and legitimacy." Social constructionism understands the "fundamental role of language and communication" and this understanding has "contributed to the linguistic turn" and more recently the "turn to discourse theory." The majority of social constructionists abide by the belief that "language does not mirror reality; rather, it constitutes [creates] it."
A broad definition of social constructionism has its supporters and critics in the organizational sciences. A constructionist approach to various organizational and managerial phenomena appear to be more commonplace and on the rise.
Andy Lock and Tom Strong trace some of the fundamental tenets of social constructionism back to the work of the 18th century Italian political philosopher, rhetorician, historian, and jurist Giambattista Vico.
According to Lock and Strong, other influential thinkers whose work has affected the development of social constructionism are: Edmund Husserl, Alfred Schutz, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Martin Heidegger, Hans-Georg Gadamer, Paul Ricoeur, Jürgen Habermas, Emmanuel Levinas, Mikhail Bakhtin, Valentin Volosinov, Lev Vygotsky, George Herbert Mead, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Gregory Bateson, Harold Garfinkel, Erving Goffman, Anthony Giddens, Michel Foucault, Ken Gergen, Mary Gergen, Rom Harre, and John Shotter.
Personal construct psychologyEdit
Since its appearance in the 1950s, personal construct psychology (PCP) has mainly developed as a constructivist theory of personality and a system of transforming individual meaning-making processes, largely in therapeutic contexts. It was based around the notion of persons as scientists who form and test theories about their worlds. Therefore, it represented one of the first attempts to appreciate the constructive nature of experience and the meaning persons give to their experience. Social constructionism (SC), on the other hand, mainly developed as a form of a critique, aimed to transform the oppressing effects of the social meaning-making processes. Over the years, it has grown into a cluster of different approaches, with no single SC position. However, different approaches under the generic term of SC are loosely linked by some shared assumptions about language, knowledge, and reality.
A usual way of thinking about the relationship between PCP and SC is treating them as two separate entities that are similar in some aspects, but also very different in others. This way of conceptualizing this relationship is a logical result of the circumstantial differences of their emergence. In subsequent analyses these differences between PCP and SC were framed around several points of tension, formulated as binary oppositions: personal/social; individualist/relational; agency/structure; constructivist/constructionist. Although some of the most important issues in contemporary psychology are elaborated in these contributions, the polarized positioning also sustained the idea of a separation between PCP and SC, paving the way for only limited opportunities for dialogue between them.
Reframing the relationship between PCP and SC may be of use in both the PCP and the SC communities. On one hand, it extends and enriches SC theory and points to benefits of applying the PCP “toolkit” in constructionist therapy and research. On the other hand, the reframing contributes to PCP theory and points to new ways of addressing social construction in therapeutic conversations.
Social constructivism has been studied by many educational psychologists, who are concerned with its implications for teaching and learning. For more on the psychological dimensions of social constructivism, see the work of Ernst von Glasersfeld and A. Sullivan Palincsar.
Systemic therapy is a form of psychotherapy which seeks to address people as people in relationship, dealing with the interactions of groups and their interactional patterns and dynamics.
The concepts of weak and strong as applied to opposing philosophical positions, "isms", inform a teleology – the goal-oriented, meaningful or "final end" of an interpretation of reality. "Isms" are not personal opinions, but the extreme, modal, formulations that actual persons, individuals, can then consider, and take a position between. There are opposing philosophical positions concerning the feasibility of co-creating a common, shared, social reality, called weak and strong.
John R. Searle does not elucidate the terms strong and weak in his book The Construction of Social Reality, but he clearly uses them in his Chinese room argument, where he debates the feasibility of creating a computing machine with a sharable understanding of reality, and he adds "We are precisely such machines." Strong artificial intelligence (Strong AI) is the bet that computer programmers will somehow eventually achieve a computing machine with a mind of its own, and that it will eventually be more powerful than a human mind. Weak AI bets they won't.
David Deutsch in his book The Fabric of Reality uses a form of strong Turing principle to share Frank Tipler's view of the final state of the universe as an omnipotent (but not omniscient), Omega point, computer. But this computer is a society of creative thinkers, or people (albeit posthuman transhuman persons), having debates in order to generate information, in the never-ending attempt to attain omniscience of this physics—its evolutionary forms, its computational abilities, and the methods of its epistemology—having an eternity to do so. (p. 356)
Because both the Chinese room argument and the construction of social reality deal with Searle and his debates, and because they both use weak and strong to denote a philosophical position, and because both debate the programmability of "the other", it is worth noting the correspondence that "strong AI" is strong social constructionism, and "weak AI" is weak social constructivism.
Strong social constructiv"ism" says "none are able to communicate either a full reality or an accurate ontology, therefore my position must impose, by a sort of divine right, my observer-relative epistemology", whereas weak social constructivism says "none are able to know a full reality, therefore we must cooperate, informing and conveying an objective ontology as best we can."
Weak teleology Edit
Weak social constructionism sees the underlying, objective, "brute fact" elements of the class of languages and functional assignments of human, metaphysical, reality. Brute facts are all facts that are not institutional (metaphysical, social agreement) facts. The skeptic portrays the weak aspect of social constructivism, and wants to spend effort debating the institutional realities.
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."
Both Fish and Pinker agree that the sorts of objects indicated here can be described as part of what John Searle calls "social reality.":22 In particular, they are, in Searle's terms, ontologically subjective but epistemologically objective.:63 "Social facts" are temporally, ontologically, and logically dependent on "brute facts." For example, "money" in the form of its raw materials (rag, pulp, ink) as constituted socially for barter (for example by a banking system) is a social fact of "money" by virtue of (i) collectively willing and intending (ii) to impose some particular function (purpose for which), (iii) by constitutive rules atop the "brute facts." "Social facts have the remarkable feature of having no analogue among physical brute facts" (34). The existence of language is itself constitutive of the social fact (37), which natural or brute facts do not require. Natural or "brute" facts exist independently of language; thus a "mountain" is a mountain in every language and in no language; it simply is what it is.:29, et seq
Searle illustrates the evolution of social facts from brute facts by the constitutive rule: X counts as Y in C. "The Y terms has to assign a new status that the object does not already have just in virtue of satisfying the Y term; and there has to be collective agreement, or at least acceptance, both in the imposition of that status on the stuff referred to by the X term and about the function that goes with that status. Furthermore, because the physical features brute facts specified by the X term are insufficient by themselves to guarantee the fulfillment of the assigned function specified by the Y term, the new status and its attendant functions have to be the sort of things that can be constituted by collective agreement or acceptance.":44
It is true that language is not a "brute fact," that it is an institutional fact, a human convention, a metaphysical reality (that happens to be physically uttered), but Searle points out that there are language-independent thoughts "noninstitutional, primitive, biological inclinations and cognitions not requiring any linguistic devices," and that there are many "brute facts" amongst both humans and animals that are truths that should not be altered in the social constructs because language does not truly constitute them, despite the attempt to institute them for any group's gain: money and property are language dependent, but desires (thirst, hunger) and emotions (fear, rage) are not.:62 (Descartes describes the difference between imagination as a sort of vision, or image, and intellect as conceptualizing things by symbolic manipulation.) Therefore, there is doubt that society or a computer can be completely programmed by language and images, (because there is a programmable, emotive effect of images that derives from the language of judgment towards images).
Finally, against the strong theory and for the weak theory, Searle insists, "it could not be the case, as some have maintained, that all facts are institutional [i.e., social] facts, that there are no brute facts, because the structure of institutional facts reveals that they are logically dependent on brute facts. To suppose that all facts are institutional [i.e., social] would produce an infinite regress or circularity in the account of institutional facts. In order that some facts are institutional, there must be other facts that are brute [i.e., physical, biological, natural]. This is the consequence of the logical structure of institutional facts.".:56
Ian Hacking, Canadian philosopher of science, insists, "the notion that everything is socially constructed has been going the rounds. John Searle  argues vehemently (and in my opinion cogently) against universal constructionism.":24 "Universal social constructionism is descended from the doctrine that I once named linguistic idealism and attributed, only half in jest, to Richard Nixon [Hacking, 1975, p. 182]. Linguistic idealism is the doctrine that only what is talked about exists, nothing has reality until it is spoken of, or written about. This extravagant notion is descended from Berkeley's idea-ism, which we call idealism: the doctrine that all that exists is mental.":24 "They are a part of what John Searle  calls social reality. His book is titled the Construction of Social Reality, and as I explained elsewhere [Hacking, 1996], that is not a social construction book at all.":12
Hacking observes, "the label 'social constructionism' is more code than description":15 of every Leftist, Marxist, Freudian, and Feminist PostModernist to call into question every moral, sex, gender, power, and deviant claim as just another essentialist claim—including the claim that members of the male and female sex are inherently different, rather than historically and socially constructed. Hacking observes that his 1995 simplistic dismissal of the concept actually revealed to many readers the outrageous implications of the theorists: Is child abuse a real evil, or a social construct, asked Hacking? His dismissive attitude, "gave some readers a way to see that there need be no clash between construction and reality,":29 inasmuch as "the metaphor of social construction once had excellent shock value, but now it has become tired.":35
Informally, they require human practices to sustain their existence, but they have an effect that is (basically) universally agreed upon. The disagreement lies in whether this category should be called "socially constructed." Ian Hacking argues that it should not. Furthermore, it is not clear that authors who write "social construction" analyses ever mean "social construction" in Pinker's sense. ". If they never do, then Pinker (probably among others) has misunderstood the point of a social constructionist argument.
To understand how weak social constructionism can conclude that metaphysics (a human affair) is not the entire "reality," see the arguments against the study metaphysics. This inability to accurately share the full reality, even given time for a rational conversation, is similarly proclaimed by weak artificial intelligence.
History and developmentEdit
Berger and LuckmannEdit
Constructionism became prominent in the U.S. with Peter L. Berger and Thomas Luckmann's 1966 book, The Social Construction of Reality. Berger and Luckmann argue that all knowledge, including the most basic, taken-for-granted common sense knowledge of everyday reality, is derived from and maintained by social interactions. When people interact, they do so with the understanding that their respective perceptions of reality are related, and as they act upon this understanding their common knowledge of reality becomes reinforced. Since this common sense knowledge is negotiated by people, human typifications, significations and institutions come to be presented as part of an objective reality, particularly for future generations who were not involved in the original process of negotiation. For example, as parents negotiate rules for their children to follow, those rules confront the children as externally produced "givens" that they cannot change. Berger and Luckmann's social constructionism has its roots in phenomenology. It links to Heidegger and Edmund Husserl through the teaching of Alfred Schutz, who was also Berger's PhD adviser.
During the 1970s and 1980s, social constructionist theory underwent a transformation as constructionist sociologists engaged with the work of Michel Foucault and others as a narrative turn in the social sciences was worked out in practice. This particularly affected the emergent sociology of science and the growing field of science and technology studies. In particular, Karin Knorr-Cetina, Bruno Latour, Barry Barnes, Steve Woolgar, and others used social constructionism to relate what science has typically characterized as objective facts to the processes of social construction, with the goal of showing that human subjectivity imposes itself on those facts we take to be objective, not solely the other way around. A particularly provocative title in this line of thought is Andrew Pickering's Constructing Quarks: A Sociological History of Particle Physics. At the same time, Social Constructionism shaped studies of technology – the Sofield, especially on the Social construction of technology, or SCOT, and authors as Wiebe Bijker, Trevor Pinch, Maarten van Wesel, etc. Despite its common perception as objective, mathematics is not immune to social constructionist accounts. Sociologists such as Sal Restivo and Randall Collins, mathematicians including Reuben Hersh and Philip J. Davis, and philosophers including Paul Ernest have published social constructionist treatments of mathematics.
Social constructionism can be seen as a source of the postmodern movement, and has been influential in the field of cultural studies. 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 ongoing mass-building of worldviews by individuals in dialectical interaction with society at a time. The numerous realities so formed comprise, according to this view, the imagined worlds of human social existence and activity, gradually crystallized by habit into institutions propped up by language conventions, given ongoing legitimacy by mythology, religion and philosophy, maintained by therapies and socialization, and subjectively internalized by upbringing and education to become part of the identity of social citizens.
In the book The Reality of Social Construction, the British sociologist Dave Elder-Vass places the development of social constructionism as one outcome of the legacy of postmodernism. He writes "Perhaps the most widespread and influential product of this process [coming to terms with the legacy of postmodernism] is social constructionism, which has been booming [within the domain of social theory] since the 1980s."
Social constructionism falls toward the nurture end of the spectrum of the larger nature and nurture debate. Consequently, critics have argued that it generally ignores biological influences on behaviour or culture, or suggests that they are unimportant to achieve an understanding of human behaviour. The view of most psychologists and social scientists is that behaviour is a complex outcome of both biological and cultural influences. Other disciplines, such as evolutionary psychology, behaviour genetics, behavioural neuroscience, epigenetics, etc., take a nature–nurture interactionism approach to understand behaviour or cultural phenomena.
In 1996, to illustrate what he believed to be the intellectual weaknesses of social constructionism and postmodernism, physics professor Alan Sokal submitted an article to the academic journal Social Text deliberately written to be incomprehensible but including phrases and jargon typical of the articles published by the journal. The submission, which was published, was an experiment to see if the journal would "publish an article liberally salted with nonsense if (a) it sounded good and (b) it flattered the editors' ideological preconceptions." The Postmodernism Generator is a computer program that is designed to produce similarly incomprehensible text. In 1999, Sokal, with coauthor Jean Bricmont published the book Fashionable Nonsense, which criticized postmodernism and social constructionism.
Philosopher Paul Boghossian has also written against social constructionism. He follows Ian Hacking's argument that many adopt social constructionism because of its potentially liberating stance: if things are the way that they are only because of our social conventions, as opposed to being so naturally, then it should be possible to change them into how we would rather have them be. He then states that social constructionists argue that we should refrain from making absolute judgements about what is true and instead state that something is true in the light of this or that theory. Countering this, he states:
But it is hard to see how we might coherently follow this advice. Given that the propositions which make up epistemic systems are just very general propositions about what absolutely justifies what, it makes no sense to insist that we abandon making absolute particular judgements about what justifies what while allowing us to accept absolute general judgements about what justifies what. But in effect this is what the epistemic relativist is recommending.
Later in the same work, Boghossian severely constrains the requirements of relativism. He states that instead of believing that any world view is just as true as any other (cultural relativism), we should believe that:
If we were to encounter an actual, coherent, fundamental, genuine alternative to our epistemic system, C2, whose track record was impressive enough to make us doubt the correctness of our own system, C1, we would not be able to justify C1 over C2 even by our own lights.
Woolgar and Pawluch argue that constructionists tend to 'ontological gerrymander' social conditions in and out of their analysis. Following this point, Thibodeaux argued that constructionism can both separate and combine a subject and their effective environment. To resolve this he argued that objective conditions should be used when analyzing how perspectives are motivated.
Social constructionism has been criticized by psychologists such as TU Professor Jordan Peterson and evolutionary psychologists, including Steven Pinker in his book The Blank Slate. John Tooby and Leda Cosmides used the term "standard social science model" to refer to social-science philosophies that they argue fail to take into account the evolved properties of the brain.
Social construction theory in communicationEdit
A bibliographic review of social construction theory as used within communication has now been published, providing a good overview of resources from that disciplinary perspective.
- Leeds-Hurwitz, W. (2009). Social construction of reality. In S.Littlejohn, & K.Foss (Eds.), Encyclopedia of communication theory. (pp. 892-895). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc. doi:10.4135/9781412959384.n344
- Mr. Sinn (2016-02-03), Theoretical Perspectives: Social Constructionism, retrieved 2018-05-11
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- Phenomenology (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
- Fairhurst, Gail T.; Grant, David (2010-05-01). "The Social Construction of Leadership: A Sailing Guide". Management Communication Quarterly. 24 (2): 171–210. doi:10.1177/0893318909359697. ISSN 0893-3189.
- Discourse Theory
- Andy Lock and Tom Strong.2010. Social Constructionism: Sources and Stirrings in Theory and Practice. Cambridge University Press, pp. 12-29
- Leeds-Hurwitz, W. (2009). Social construction of reality. In S. Littlejohn, & K. Foss (Eds.), Encyclopedia of communication theory. (pp. 8-9). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc. doi:10.4135/9781412959384.n344
- Andy Lock and Tom Strong.2010. Social Constructionism: Sources and Stirrings in Theory and Practice. Cambridge University Press
- Bannister, D., & Mair, M.M. (1968) The evaluation of personal constructs. London, UK: Academic Press
- Kelly, G.A. (1955), The psychology of personal constructs. New York, NY: Norton
- Mair, J.M. (1977), The community of self. In D. Bannister (Ed.), New perspectives in personal construct theory (pp. 125–149). London, UK: Academic Press
- Neimeyer, R.A., & Levitt, H. (2000), What’s narrative got to do with it? Construction and coherence in accounts of loss. In J. Harvey (Ed.), Loss and trauma (pp. 401–412). Philadelphia, PA: Brunner Routledge
- Procter, H.G. (1981), Family construct psychology. In S. Walrond-Skinner (Ed.), Family therapy and approaches (pp. 350–367). London, UK: Routledge & Kegan Paul
- Stojnov, D., & Butt, T. (2002), The relational basis of personal construct psychology. In R. Neimeyer & G. Neimeyer (Eds.), Advances of personal construct theory: New directions and perspectives (pp. 81–113). Westport, CT: Praeger
- Harré, R., & Gillett, D. (1994). The discursive mind. London, UK: Sage
- Shotter, J.; Lannamann, J. (2002). "The situation of social constructionism: Its imprisonment within the ritual of theory-criticism-and-debate". Theory & Psychology. 12: 577–609. doi:10.1177/0959354302012005894.
- Harré, R (2002). "Public sources of the personal mind: Social constructionism in context". Theory & Psychology. 12: 611–623. doi:10.1177/0959354302012005895.
- Stam, H.J. (2001). "Introduction: Social constructionism and its critiques". Theory & Psychology. 11: 291–296. doi:10.1177/0959354301113001.
- Burr, V. (1995), An introduction to social constructionism. London, UK: Routledge
- Botella, L. (1995). Personal construct psychology, constructivism and postmodern thought. In R.A. Neimeyer & G.J. Neimeyer (Eds.), Advances in personal construct psychology (Vol. 3, pp. 3–35). Greenwich, CT: JAI Press.
- Burkitt, I (1996). "Social and personal constructs: A division left unresolved". Theory & Psychology. 6: 71–77. doi:10.1177/0959354396061005.
- Burr, V. (1992). Construing relationships: Some thoughts on PCP and discourse. In A. Thompson & P. Cummins (Eds.), European perspectives in personal construct psychology: Selected papers from the inaugural conference of the EPCA (pp. 22–35). Lincoln, UK: EPCA.
- Butt, T.W. (2001). "Social action and personal constructs". Theory & Psychology. 11: 75–95. doi:10.1177/0959354301111007.
- Mancuso, J (1998). "Can an avowed adherent of personal-construct psychology be counted as a social constructions?". Journal of Constructivist Psychology. 11: 205–219. doi:10.1080/10720539808405221.
- Raskin, J.D. (2002). "Constructivism in psychology: Personal construct psychology, radical constructivism, and social constructionism". American Communication Journal. 5 (3): 1–25.
- Jelena Pavlović (2011-05-11). "Personal construct psychology and social constructionism are not incompatible: Implications of a reframing". Tap.sagepub.com. Retrieved 2012-11-08.
- Pavlović, J. (2011). Personal construct psychology and social constructionism are not incompatible: Implications of a reframing Theory & Psychology 21: 396–411
- Pavlović, J. (2011). Personal construct psychology and social constructionism are not incompatible: Implications of a reframing Theory & Psychology 21: 396–411.
- von Glasersfeld, Ernst (1995). Radical Constructivism: A Way of Knowing and Learning. London: Routledge.; Palincsar, A.S. (1998). "Social constructivist perspectives on teaching and learning". Annual Review of Psychology. 49: 345–375. doi:10.1146/annurev.psych.49.1.345.
- Searle, John (1995). The Construction of Social Reality. New York: The Free Press. p. 62. ISBN 0-684-83179-1.
- Searle, John R. (New York: Free Press, 1997) The Constructions of Social Reality (p. 365)
- Pinker, Steven (Penguin Books, 2002) The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature (p. 202)
- Fish, Stanley (1996)
- Hacking, Ian (1999) (pp. 29-31)
- Hacking, Ian (1999)(p. 22)
- Hacking, Ian. The Social Construction of What? . Harvard University Press, 1999; ISBN 0-674-00412-4, Numbering begins with 0 for consistency with Hacking's usage.
- Hacking, Ian. 1997
- Peter L. Berger and Thomas Luckmann, The Social Construction of Reality : A Treatise in the Sociology of Knowledge" (Anchor, 1967; ISBN 0-385-05898-5)
- Pinch, T. J. (1996). The Social Construction of Technology: a Review. In R. Fox (Ed.), Technological Change; Methods and Themes in the History of Technology (pp. 17 – 35). Amsterdam: Harwood Academic Publishers.
- Wesel, M. v. (2006). Why we do not always get what we want; The power imbalance in the Social Shaping of Technology (final draft 29 June 2006). Unpublished Master Thesis, Universiteit Maastricht, Maastricht (Look for the latest version here).
- Dave Elder-Vass. 2012.The Reality of Social Construction. Cambridge University Press, 4
- Sokal, A., & Bricmont, J. (1999). Fashionable Nonsense: Postmodern Intellectuals' Abuse of Science. NY: Picador.
- Francsis, D., & Kaufer, D. (2011). Beyond Nature vs. Nurture. The Scientist. 1 October 2011
- Ridly, M. (2004). The Agile Gene: How Nature Turns on Nurture. NY: Harper.
- Sokal, Alan D. (May 1996). "A Physicist Experiments With Cultural Studies". Lingua Franca. Retrieved 3 April 2007.
- A C Bulhak: On the simulation of postmodernism and mental debility using recursive transition networks, 96/264, Dept Computer Science Technical Reports, Dept Computer Science, Monash Univ, Melbourne Australia, 1–12, 12pp. Technical report CS 96/264
- Paul Boghossian, Fear of Knowledge: Against Relativism and Conmstructivism, Oxford University Press, 2006, 152pp, hb/pb, ISBN 0-19-928718-X.
- Woolgar, S; Pawluch, D (1985). "Ontological gerrymandering: The anatomy of social problems explanations". Social Problems. 32 (3): 214–27. doi:10.1525/sp.1985.32.3.03a00020.
- Thibodeaux, Jarrett (2014). "Three Versions of Constructionism and their Reliance on Social Conditions in Social Problems Research". Sociology. 48 (4): 829–837. doi:10.1177/0038038513511560.
- "Breaking the Code: Against Steven Pinker's The Blank Slate | Quarterly Conversation". quarterlyconversation.com. Retrieved 2017-08-10.
- Barkow, J., Cosmides, L. & Tooby, J. 1992. The adapted mind: Evolutionary psychology and the generation of culture. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Leeds-Hurwitz, W. (2016). Social construction. In P. Moy (Ed.), Oxford bibliographies in communication. New York: Oxford University Press.
- Peter L. Berger and Thomas Luckmann, The Social Construction of Reality : A Treatise in the Sociology of Knowledge (Anchor, 1967; ISBN 0-385-05898-5).
- Joel Best, Images of Issues: Typifying Contemporary Social Problems, New York: Gruyter, 1989
- Ian Hacking, The Social Construction of What? Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1999; ISBN 0-674-81200-X
- John Searle, The Construction of Social Reality. New York: Free Press, 1995; ISBN 0-02-928045-1 .
- Charles Arthur Willard, Liberalism and the Problem of Knowledge: A New Rhetoric for Modern Democracy Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996; ISBN 0-226-89845-8.
- Vivien Burr. Social Constructionism, 2nd ed. Routledge 2003.
- Wilson, D. S. (2005), "Evolutionary Social Constructivism". In J. Gottshcall and D. S. Wilson, (Eds.), The Literary Animal: Evolution and the Nature of Narrative. Evanston, IL, Northwestern University Press; ISBN 0-8101-2286-3. Full text
- Sal Restivo and Jennifer Croissant, "Social Constructionism in Science and Technology Studies" (Handbook of Constructionist Research, ed. J.A. Holstein & J.F. Gubrium (Guilford, NY 2008, 213–229; ISBN 978-1-59385-305-1
- Ellul, Jacques. Propaganda: The Formation of Men's Attitudes. Trans. Konrad Kellen & Jean Lerner. New York: Knopf, 1965. New York: Random House/ Vintage 1973
- Paul Ernest, (1998) Social Constructivism as a Philosophy of Mathematics; Albany, New York: State University of New York Press
- Kenneth Gergen, (2015, 3d edition, first 1999), An Invitation to Social Construction. Los Angeles: Sage.
- Glasersfeld, Ernst von (1995), Radical Constructivism: A Way of Knowing and Learning. London: RoutledgeFalmer.
- Hibberd, Fiona J. (2005), Unfolding Social Constructionism. New York: Springer. ISBN 0-387-22974-4
- André Kukla (2000), Social Constructivism and the Philosophy of Science, London: Routledge, ISBN 0-415-23419-0, ISBN 978-0-415-23419-1
- Poerksen, Bernhard (2004), The Certainty of Uncertainty: Dialogues Introducing Constructivism. Exeter: Imprint-Academic.
- Schmidt, Siegfried J. (2007), Histories and Discourses: Rewriting Constructivism. Exeter: Imprint-Acadenic.
- Sheila McNamee and Kenneth Gergen (1999). Relational Responsibility: Resources for Sustainable Dialogue. Thousand Oaks, California: Sage, Inc. ISBN 0-7619-1094-8.
- Sheila McNamee and Kenneth Gergen (Eds.) (1992). Therapy as Social Construction. London: Sage ISBN 0-8039-8303-4.
- Lowenthal, P., & Muth, R. (2008). Constructivism. In E. F. Provenzo, Jr. (Ed.), Encyclopedia of the social and cultural foundations of education (pp. 177–179). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
- Paul Boghossian (2006) Fear of Knowledge: Against Relativism and Constructivism. Oxford University Press. Online review: http://ndpr.nd.edu/news/25184/?id=8364
- Darin Weinberg. 2014. Contemporary Social Constructionism: Key Themes. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press
- Kitsuse JI, Spector M. Toward a sociology of social problems: Social conditions, value-judgements, and social problems, Social Problems, 20(4) 407-19, 1973
- Mallon, Ron, "Naturalistic Approaches to Social Construction", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Edward N. Zalta (ed.).
- Metzner, Andreas (1998), Constructions of Environmental Issues in Scientific and Public Discourse, in: Mueller, F.; Leupelt, M. (Eds.): Eco Targets, Goal Functions and Orientors. Berlin, Heidelberg, New York (Springer Publishers) 1998, pp. 171–192
- The dictionary definition of social constructionism at Wiktionary
- Quotations related to Social constructionism at Wikiquote
- Slezak, Peter (2000) "A Critique of Radical Social Constructivism"
- Social Construction Therapies Network
- "Oxford Bibliographies: Social Construction"