Socially constructed reality

From Academic Kids

Socially constructed reality forms a concept within the sociology of knowledge and the social constructionist strand of postmodernism. In the sociology of knowledge tradition what seems real to members of a social class arises from the situation of the class, such as the capitalist or working classes, especially with respect to the economic fundamentals which affect the class. According to the theories advanced by Karl Mannheim, who formulated the classic theories of sociology of knowledge, intellectuals occupy a special position which is to some extent free of the intellectual blinders imposed by the social position of other classes. In modern times The Social Construction of Reality: A Treatise in the Sociology of Knowledge by Peter L. Berger and Thomas Luckmann, 1966 popularised the concept and the terminology of "socially constructed reality".

Within the social constructionist strand of postmodernism, the concept of socially constructed reality stresses the on-going mass-building of worldviews by individuals in dialectical interaction with society at any time. The numerous realities so formed comprise, according to this view, the imagined worlds of human social existence and activity, gradually crystallised by habit into institutions propped up by language conventions, given ongoing legitimation by mythology, religion and philosophy, maintained by therapies and socialisation, and subjectively internalised by upbringing and education to become part of the identity of social citizens.

Socially constructed reality can also mean that portion of reality which consists of social or cultural artifacts, see The Construction of Social Reality, John R. Searle, The Free Press, 1995 (hardcover: ISBN 0-02-928045-1; trade paperback: ISBN 0-684-83179-1). The nature of that part of external reality which is a social or cultural product, e.g. money, marriage, government, hula hoops, etc. Also contains few chapters on realism.

See also

consensus reality, major consensus narrative, social construction, social constructionism

External link

  • Rewriting Reality (http://ceh.kitoba.com/worldview/reality.html) - How worldviews are created
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