The only book written for undergraduates about the social construction of reality that is also historical and comparative. In addition, it includes chapters on the social construction of time and space, as well as the more traditional chapters on race, class, and gender.
This book shows how these social constructions of time, space, race, gender and class intersect with each other to produce particular social phenomena that are enduring and significant for our society. No other book for undergraduate teaching has ever done this … this is a real first!
“If the goal of this series is to broaden the students” vision, no book is more ambitious toward attaining that goal than Making Societies. Roy helps students question the most “natural” of categories: time, space, gender, race, and class. Leading them through examples drawn from around the world, he shows how these categories are social constructions; historically formed, ideologically loaded, and subject to change. This may be profoundly unsettling, for students will be encouraged to question not only what they know but also the conceptual frameworks they use when they claim to understand anything. As Series Editors, it is our belief that this provocation will open new ways of thinking about the social world, how it is, and how it might be.”
—Wendy Griswold, Series Editor, Northwestern University, from the foreword
“I love the organizing concept of the social construction of reality and using a cross-cultural historical comparative approach to analyzing key themes: space, time, race, gender, and class. I particularly like the focus on space and time first because it illustrates how deeply embedded the social construction of reality is.”
—Joanne Defiore, University of Washington, Bothel
“The book is intellectually strong; it is driven by ideas and engages important processes of social life.”
—Lisa Brush, University of Pittsburgh
Chapter 1: Constructing Historical Reality
Constructing Historical Reality
Imagine a high school honors student who designs software as a part-time job, plays piano well enough to give private recitals, and is the captain of her debate team. But when her SAT scores turn out to be only average, she is wracked by self-doubt and personal crisis. Is she really intelligent? Are her aspirations to be a surgeon or music professor the silly fantasies of immaturity? Is all the hard work she has invested in making something of herself wasted on a noodlehead? If she were not a noodlehead after all but wise beyond her years, she might ask, “What does the SAT measure anyway?” She might wonder whether it measures only what she has learned in school. Her ...