Social constructionism, or the social construction of reality, is a theory based on the sociological perspectives of Peter L. Berger and Thomas Luckmann about how reality and meaning are shaped relationally in society. That is, this theory challenges the notion of absolute truth or objective reality and posits that social knowledge and meaning is constructed through language and person-to-person interaction within the larger social context. Social constructionism has served as a foundational framework for the development of postmodern family therapy modalities, including narrative family therapy. This entry examines the key assumptions of social constructionism and discusses the influence that this theory has had on the field of family therapy.

Key Assumptions

Social constructionism is based on several key assumptions about knowledge, meaning, language, and reality.

Knowledge Is ...

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