Read e-book online An Invitation to Social Construction PDF

By Kenneth J. Gergen

ISBN-10: 080398376X

ISBN-13: 9780803983762

From a number one determine within the box, this introductory textual content varieties a sublime assessment of social constructionism that's right now wide-ranging and accessible.

In this landmark paintings Kenneth Gergen charts the heritage to the social constructionist flow and descriptions the main debates, themes, and concerns in a fashion that's straight away profound but hugely readable. it's an interdisciplinary tour de force that might impact the advance of educating, learn and social perform for years yet to come.

An Invitation to Social Construction is key studying for all scholars and teachers drawn to social constructionism and modern matters and debates around the social sciences. it's going to additionally converse considerably to therapists, organizational experts, educators, and others engaged in practices of social change.

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Extra resources for An Invitation to Social Construction

Sample text

To appreciate Foucault's argument let's begin with the ordinary: one day you are feeling down, a little blue, perhaps self-critical and a friend asks "what's wrong ... " Although describing yourself as "depressed" is wholly unremarkable in today's culture, it was not always so. The first classification of mental disorders in the United States, occurring in 1840, contained only a handful of distinctions and was dosely tied to organic dysfunction. In those days the term "depression" did not exist.

It is now time to bring these assumptions into clear focus, for they form the essential back-bone for the remainder of the book. 30 Further, realize that these assumptions are not candidates for truth, but entries into conversations, insinuations into relationships. As we animate these assumptions in our work and our lives more generally, they may have significant if not dramatic potential; to ask whether they are true or false misses the point of constructionism. Consider then the following four working assumptions.

The preceding treats only the arbitrary relationship between the signifier and the signified. Recall, however, the second aspect of semiotic study: that language can be studied as a system unto itself. Although this assumption seems tame enough - similar to saying that we can study music or plant life independent of everything else - its implications are profound. What is most interesting is that if language use is determined by an inner logic, then what we call "meaning" may be independent of the world outside language.

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An Invitation to Social Construction by Kenneth J. Gergen


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