Encyclopedia of Critical Psychology

2014 Edition
| Editors: Thomas Teo

Social Constructionism

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-5583-7_287

Introduction

Emerging with the Western Enlightenment is a conception of knowledge as “justified true belief,” in which the justification for an individual’s belief is based on empirical evidence. The image of Galileo is iconic in this case; the single individual – informed by observation and engages in rational thought – successfully challenged the dogma of the church in proving that the earth rotated around the sun. In the twentieth century this empiricist view of knowledge came to be known as logical positivism and was – and continues to be – used as a foundational justification for certain practices of science. However, in the late twentieth century, several bodies of scholarship not only provided lethal criticism of the empiricist view but provided the basis for a social epistemology. This view of knowledge, commonly known as social construction, embodies the central elements of these critiques.

Definition

Social construction is typically defined as an account of knowledge in which...

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References

  1. Berger, P. L., & Luckmann, T. (1967). The social construction of reality: A treatise in the sociology of knowledge. New York: Anchor.Google Scholar
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Online Resources

  1. Appreciative inquiry commons appreciativeinquiry.case.edu/Google Scholar
  2. Gergen video lecture vimeo.com/15676699Google Scholar
  3. Narrative psychology: internet and resource guide open source journals web.lemoyne.edu/∼hevern/narpsych.htmlGoogle Scholar
  4. Certificate programs www.collaborativecertificate.org/
  5. The Taos institute www.taosinstitute.net

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologySwarthmore CollegeSwarthmoreUSA