An Introduction to Social Constructionism
4. udgave, 1998, 198 sider
An Introduction to Social Constructionism is a readable and critical account of
social constructionism for students new to the field.
Focussing on the
challenge to psychology that social constructionism poses, Vivien Burr examines
the notion of 'personality' to illustrate the rejection of essentialism by
social constructionists. This questions psychology's traditional understanding
of the person. She then shows how the study of language can be used as a focus
for our understanding of human behaviour and experience. This is continued by
examining 'discourses' and their role in constructing social phenomena, and the
relationship between discourse and power. However, the problems associated with
these analyses are also clearly outlined.
Many people believe that one of the aims of social science should be to bring
about social change. Vivien Burr analyses what possibilities there might be for
change in social constructions accounts. She also addresses what social
constructionism means in practice to research in the social sciences, and
includes some guidelines on doing discourse analysis.
An Introduction to Social Constructionism is an invaluable and clear guide for
all perplexed students who want to begin to understand this difficult area.
Vivien Burr is a senior lecturer in psychology at the University of