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Social constructionism refers to the concept that “reality” is not a given but is a construction built on perceptions and interactions between agents. The term was coined in 1966 by Peter Berger and Thomas Luckmann in their seminal book Social Construction of Reality, in which they argued that interactions between individuals lead to shared representations and meanings, which in turn contribute to the definition and institutionalization of roles within a community. Constructionism aims at analyzing the process through which knowledge, and reality, are built. In this process, perceptions and/or misperceptions can lead to conflicts, as seen in international relations.

Key Concepts

Constructionism first appeared in philosophy as part of the study of intersubjectivity, that is, the integration of others’ ideas in one’s own thought, and the ...

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