The Politics of Constructionism
Publication Year: 1998
The Politics of Constructionism presents a broadranging and critical overview of the many themes of social constructionism and its relevance to contemporary social and political issues. Clearly structured and bringing together leading international contributors from across the social sciences, it offers an invaluable may through this rich body of literature. Major questions and topics explored in its critique and application of constructionist ideas include the theory and practice of scientific method, the development of social and political policy, the use of social science statistical methods, self-identity and the politics of collective identities, and technological advances in reproductive medicine. Drawing on insights from psychology, sociology, politics, philosophy, cultural, gender, and social studies, The Politics of Constructionism links the discourse of constructionism to the wider social and ...
- Front Matter
- Subject Index
Part I: Formulating Constructionism
- Chapter 1: Towards a Constructivist Genealogy of Social Constructivism
- Chapter 2: Constructionist Dialogues and the Vicissitudes of the Politics
- Chapter 3: On Being More Literal about Construction
Part II: The Limits of Constructionism
- Chapter 4: What Does the Sociology of Scientific Knowledge Explain?
- Chapter 5: The Reflexive Politics of Constructivism Revisited
- Chapter 6: Unconstructive
- Chapter 7: The Limits of Social Constructionism
Part III: Applying Constructionism
- Chapter 8: Relations, Communication and Power
- Chapter 9: Social Constructionism and the New Technologies of Reproduction
- Chapter 10: The Social Construction of Outliers
- Chapter 11: Procedure, Reflexivity and Social Constructionism
- Chapter 12: Social Constructionism as a Political Strategy
Part IV: The Politics of Constructionism
Editorial Arrangement and Introduction © Irving Velody and
Robin Williams 1998
Chapter 1 © Michael Lynch 1998
Chapter 2 © Kenneth J. Gergen 1998
Chapter 3 © Ian Hacking 1998
Chapter 4 © Paul Roth 1998
Chapter 5 © Steve Fuller 1998
Chapter 6 © Wil Coleman and Wes Sharrock 1998
Chapter 7 © Stephen Turner 1998
Chapter 8 © Ian Burkitt 1998
Chapter 9 © Erica Haimes and Robin Williams 1998
Chapter 10 © Sandy Lovie and Pat Lovie 1998
Chapter 11 © Philip Manning 1998
Chapter 12 © Tom Shakespeare 1998
Chapter 13 © Mitchell Dean 1998
Chapter 14 © Craig Mackenzie 1998
Chapter 15 © Thomas Osborne 1998
First published 1998
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, transmitted or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without permission in writing from the Publishers.
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British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data
A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library
ISBN 07619 5041 9
ISBN 0 7619 5042 7 (pbk)
Library of Congress catalog card number 98-060207
Typeset by Type Study, Scarborough
Printed in Great Britain by Biddies Ltd, Guildford, Surrey
Notes on Contributors[Page vii]
Ian Burkitt lectures in sociology and social psychology in the Department of Social and Economic Studies, University of Bradford, UK. His research interests centre on social theory and the self, and he is author of Social Selves: Theories of the Social Formation of Personality (1991).
Wil Coleman is lecturing in sociology at the University of Manchester, UK. Prior to that he held temporary appointments in Manchester while completing his PhD which reflects his central interest in the philosophy of social science and social theory, with particular focus upon the topic of language.
Mitchell Dean is Associate Professor in Sociology at Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia. He is the author of The Constitution of Poverty: Towards a Genealogy of Liberal Governance (1991), Critical and Effective Histories: Foucault's Methods and Historical Sociology (1994) and Governmentality (forthcoming). He is co-editor of Governing Australia (with Barry Hindess, 1998).
Steve Fuller is Professor of Sociology at the University of Durham, UK. He is the founding editor of the journal Social Epistemology, and is the author of four books, the latest of which is Science (1997). He is completing a book-length study on the origins and impacts of Thomas Kuhn's The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.
Kenneth J. Gergen is Mustin Professor of Psychology, Swarthmore College, USA and the author of Toward Transformation in Social Knowledge (1994), The Saturated Self (1991), and Realities and Relationships (1994).
Ian Hacking teaches philosophy at the University of Toronto, Canada. His most recent books are Rewriting the Soul (1995), Mad Travelers (1998) and The Social Construction of What? (forthcoming).
Erica Haimes is Senior Lecturer in sociology in the Department of Social Policy at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, UK. Her research interests are in the sociology of assisted conception and the sociology of identity. She is co-author of Adoption, Identity and Social Policy (with Noel Timm, 1985), co-editor (with Ken Daniels, 1998) of International Social [Page viii]Science Perspectives on Donor Insemination and is working on the provisionally titled Families and Identities.
Pat Lovie is Senior Lecturer in Statistics at Keele University, UK. She is editor of the British Journal of Mathematical and Statistical Psychology, an associate editor of Statistics and Computing and a consulting editor to History of Psychology. Her publications are mainly in subjective judgement, decision-making and history of statistics.
Sandy Lovie is Senior Lecturer in Psychology at Liverpool University, UK. He is a former editor of the British Journal of Mathematical and Statistical Psychology, and now serves on the editorial board. His publications are mainly in the history of psychology and the psychology of science; he is the author of Context and Commitment: A Psychology of Science (1992).
Michael Lynch is Professor in the Department of Human Sciences, Brunei University, UK. Among his publications are Scientific Practice and Ordinary Action: Ethnomethodology and Social Studies of Science (1993) and The Spectacle of History: Speech, Text and Memory at the Iran-Contra Hearings (with D. Bogen, 1996).
Craig Mackenzie is visiting fellow at the Department of Psychology at Bath University, UK, where he was recently awarded a doctorate. He is responsible for developing ethical investment practice at Friends Provident, and seeks to implement pragmatist and neo-Aristotelian ethical theory in concrete business settings.
Philip Manning is an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology at Cleveland State University, USA. He is the author of Erving Goffman and Modern Sociology (1992).
Thomas Osborne is lecturer in the Department of Sociology, University of Bristol, UK. He is the author of Aspects of Enlightenment: Social Theory and the Ethics of Truth (1988).
Paul A. Roth is a professor in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Missouri-St Louis, USA. He is the author of Meaning and Method in the Social Sciences: A Case for Methodological Pluralism (1987) and is working on a book on narrative as a form of explanation in history, anthropology and psychoanalysis.
Tom Shakespeare is a Research Fellow in the Department of Social Policy and Sociology at the University of Leeds, UK. He is an active member of the disability movement, co-author of The Sexual Politics of Disability (1996), and editor of The Disability Reader (1998).
[Page ix]Wes Sharrock, Professor of Sociology at Manchester University, UK, has published numerous studies on ethnomethodology and philosophy of social science, including The Ethnomethodologists (1986, with Bob Anderson).
Stephen Turner is Distinguished Research Professor of Philosophy at the University of South Florida, USA. His most recent books are The Social Theory of Practices (1994) and Max Weber: The Lawyer as Social Thinker (1994, with Regis Factor).
Irving Velody is editor of History of the Human Sciences and teaches in the Faculty of Economics and Social Science at the University of the West of England, UK. He has published widely on Weber, Foucault and political theory.
Robin Williams, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Sociology and Social Policy at the University of Durham, UK, has been review editor of History of the Human Sciences since its inception. He has contributed numerous papers on sociological theory and is currently completing a book-length study on the sociology of identity.[Page x]