• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

ߢThis is an admirable book which can be recommended to students with confidence, and is likely also to become an indispensable source of reference for those researching fact constructionߣ ࡆ Discourse & Society. How is reality manufactured? The idea of social construction has become a commonplace of much social research, yet precisely what is constructed, and how, and even what constructionism means, is often unclear or taken for granted. In this major work, Jonathan Potter offers a fascinating tour of the central themes raised by these questions. Representing Reality overviews the different traditions in constructionist thought.

Introduction
Introduction

In virtually any situation appeal to the facts, to what really happened and what is only invention, can be a powerful device. Factual accounting is the stuff of arcane scientific disputes over whether neutrinos have been detected, of mundane domestic conflict over who last washed the dishes, and of ideological concern as particular versions of the economy are assembled and undermined. Descriptions are so bound up with our lives that virtually any conversation includes reports of events and actions. We read newspapers and watch television programmes which overflow with real life stories and varied factual claims. Factual reports are a commonplace currency of occupations as varied as doctors, teachers, engineers and police officers. And fiction, too, ironically but interestingly, is full of realist description ...

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