The Socio-symbolic Construction and Social Representation of Community

  • Kenneth C. Bessant


The expanding interest in social constructionist, symbolic, and representational approaches reflects a shift in emphasis away from narrowly framed pre-given, structural conceptions of community. In general constructionist terms, community can be viewed as a social product of meaning-making processes that endow it with obdurate social reality. Recent discussions of relational constructionism focus on the role of language and discursive practices in the continuous (trans)formation of relatively fluid and contingent local realities. Also, community can be thought of as a collectively built narrative or symbolically constructed representation “in the mind.” This chapter explores the idea that community is a discursively constituted socio-symbolic construction that is talked and acted into existence in and through everyday lived relation.


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Authors and Affiliations

  • Kenneth C. Bessant
    • 1
  1. 1.Brandon UniversityBrandonCanada

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