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Social Constructionism

Social constructionism cannot be reduced to a fixed set of principles, but is a continuously unfolding conversation about the nature of knowledge, truth, objectivity, and our understanding of the world. However, several themes are characteristic of writings that identify themselves as constructionist:

  • It is typically assumed that our accounts of the world—scientific and otherwise—are not dictated or determined in any principled way by what there is. Rather, the terms in which the world is understood are generally held to be social artifacts, products of historically situated interchanges among people. Knowledge, truth, objectivity, and rationality are thus achieved within communities for their particular purposes. This line of reasoning does not at all detract from the significance of these communal constructions, whether scientific and otherwise. People's constructions of ...
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