Social Constructionism as a Sociological Approach


This essay concerns itself with a detailed presentation of the contents of two works on the construction of reality in society. One is Berger and Luckmann’s well-known book (The social construction of reality. Penguin Book, Harmondsworth, 1966); the other is the somewhat less known book on the same subject by Holzner (Reality construction in society. Schenkman Publishing Company, Cambridge, 1972; orig. 1968). These works deal with the social construction of shared symbolic and cognitive universes of meaning, and partake of the same theoretical sources, namely, Symbolic Interactionism and Schutz’s phenomenological sociology. They differ in their theoretical pursuits, however. Berger and Luckmann deal with what is necessary for the construction of a shared symbolic world, as society is endowed with both an objective and a subjective reality. Holzner is more interested in the social distribution and control of reality construction, and in the different types of reality constructs.

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  1. 1.

    See for a definition of Social Constructivism, Gergen (2003, 2015: 5f.); Schneider (2005: 724).


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Correspondence to Sandro Segre.

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Segre, S. Social Constructionism as a Sociological Approach. Hum Stud 39, 93–99 (2016).

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  • Reality construction
  • Sociology of knowledge
  • Social and symbolic order