By Vivien Burr
Routledge – 2003 – 240 pages
This accessible, yet scholarly, textbook aims to introduce students to the area of social science theory and research that has come to be known as social constructionism. Using a variety of examples from everyday experience and from existing research in areas such as personality, sexuality and health, the basic theoretical assumptions of social constructionism are clearly explained. Key debates, such as the nature and status of knowledge, truth, reality and the self are given in-depth analysis in an accessible style. The theoretical and practical issues relevant to social constructionist research are illustrated with examples from real empirical studies, and the different approaches to social constructionist research are clearly defined. While the text is broadly sympathetic to social constructionism, the weaknesses of the approach are also addressed through a critical approach to the material, and in the final chapter the theory is subjected to a more extensive critique.
Social Constructionism, Second Edition, extends and updates the material covered in the first edition and will be a useful and informative resource for undergraduate and postgraduate students of psychology, as well as students from related areas such as health, social work and education.
'Social Constructionism is a substantial but well contained book which deserves to be read by a wide audience. The writer exudes a confidence with the material which will enthuse any reader.' - Richard Mallows, Head of Psychology, York St John College
"In recent years, the trickle of social constructionist writing and research has become a flood. The once eccentric idea of paying attention to the social and linguistic processes by which psychological phenomena were brought into being is close to becoming a new orthodoxy in many places. The maverick gurus have become grand old persons. Vivien Burr has followed up her earlier book introducing social constructionism with a masterly summing up of the state of the art, bringing together the main threads in a coherent tapestry." - Rom Harré, Georgetown University, Washington
What is Social Constructionism? The Case for Social Constructionism. The Role of Language in Social Constructionism. What is a Discourse? Is There a Real World Outside Discourse? Discourse and Subjectivity. The Person in Dialogue. Social Constructionist Research. Critiquing Social Constructionism. Suggested Further Reading. Glossary.