Download An Invitation to Social Construction by Kenneth J. Gergen PDF

By Kenneth J. Gergen

From a number one determine within the box, this introductory textual content kinds a chic evaluation of social constructionism that's without delay wide-ranging and accessible.

In this landmark paintings Kenneth Gergen charts the history to the social constructionist circulate and descriptions the foremost debates, themes, and concerns in a manner that's immediately profound but hugely readable. it truly is an interdisciplinary tour de force that would impression the improvement of training, examine and social perform for years yet to come.

An Invitation to Social Construction is vital interpreting for all scholars and lecturers attracted to social constructionism and modern matters and debates around the social sciences. it's going to additionally communicate considerably to therapists, organizational experts, educators, and others engaged in practices of social change.

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Extra info for An Invitation to Social Construction

Sample text

To fight against the invasive influence of power, is to hold out a promise that we might one day become free — no one controlling or containing us with an alien knowledge. Yet, freedom from the ordering effects of language, from forms of life, from all traditions or conventions is not freedom: it is essentially a step into insignificance — a space where there is no freedom because there are no distinctions, and thus no choices. This is not at all to undermine the critical impulse; however, it is to place strong emphasis on visioning the alternative.

Reflecting long-standing irritation in various ethnic groups, the first wave is that of resistance. There were early critiques by Italian Americans for their media image as gangsters, by African Americans for their caricature as Uncle Toms and Aunt Jemimahs, and women for their one-dimensional depiction as sex objects. Now such resistance is multiplied manifold. lz This derogatory creation of the other also carries into the scholarly arena. Much social science is, after all, about depiction. Social scientists typically attempt to describe and explain people's actions; sociologists often focus on marginal peoples, anthropologists on peoples of other cultures, historians on peoples of the past, and so on.

The term may be very useful within a community but the utterance, "it is true" loses its privilege to command assent (or silence) beyond a specific form of life. With this alternative view of language in place we may now return to the two forms of critique treated in the previous chapter. Recall the general state of intellectual despair resulting from the ideological and literary critiques of recent decades. A reconsideration is now in order. Specifically, by placing these critiques in the context of the alternative view of meaning, we can appreciate their force but simultaneously avoid the nihilistic conclusions they seemed to favor.

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