Social constructionism is an idea that social institutions and knowledge are created by actors within the system, rather than having any inherent truth on their own. A social construct or construction concerns the meaning, notion or connections 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 particular society”.
A major focus of social construction 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 phenomenon are created, institutionalized, known, and made into tradition by humans.
Basic Assumptions of social constructionism.
Social constructionism is a theory of knowledge that focuses on how meaning is created. Emerging from the criticism of objectivity , social constructionism challenges concepts of knowledge put forward by positivism, which postulates the externality of reality and that empirically proved truths are mind independent.
1 knowledge is a social product.
Knowledge is an “account of reality produced collaboratively by the community of knower”. Thus,social construction its focus on how meaning is created and suggest, various accounts of reality depend on place and time in order to study knowledge as a social product, one has to historicize and contextualize the given description of reality.
2.power and hierarchy underlie social construction.
This focus results in showing how individuals differ in status, entitlement, efficacy, self respect and other traits based on the kind of interaction one is involved in and subjected to.
3.language is at core of knowledge.
Language is considered the building block of culture, it conveys meaning and creates the system of knowledge we participate in. Ultimately, language has a huge influence on how we perceive reality and, as a result, is the creator of this reality.