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Social Constructionist Approach

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Social Constructionist Approach This is the idea that social processes rather than empirical evidence primarily influence the formation and assessment of theories. Key Concepts of the Social Constructionist Approach Social constructionism looks at science in terms of social processes. It offers a substitute to the objective scientific approach in psychology suggesting that such beliefs are mistakes as there are no objective realities. There is only socially determined knowledge and the investigations of this can be made as the purpose as the supposedly objective sciences. Social representations are one way to study the social constructions of the world. The quest for an objective reality is misleading. "All human life is effort after meaning" as the significance that is placed on experience that is important rather than the experiment itself. Social constructionism proposes that once you accept something then it become subjective. Social constructionists do not believe that it is possible to make observations that are objective and unbiased about people, as we can only see the world as it is represented in our culture and language. ...read more.


According to this theory different people in different situations construct emotions differently. So social constructionists research tries to identify the different social constructions that exist. Evaluation of the Social Constructionist Approach Strengths Weaknesses Offered psychology new investigation techniques and new ways of looking at human behaviours ways that emphasise the role of social influences in creating our world and also that emphasise the importance of experience. It is difficult to evaluate this new approach. It has to compete with a long history if successes and failures from other approaches. There has been a vast amount of research based on traditional approaches and this approach is only very fairly recent It re-evaluated our concepts of objectivity and subjectivity and aims to uncover what individual are experiencing rather than simply deducing attitudes from external observations. According to some psychologists even some flawed methodology has provided us with useful information about human behaviour. It tries to view the world through the eyes of those who construct it. Social constructionists only try to interpret the social realities that people construct rather than trying to explain where they came from. ...read more.


These are treated like they are a natural part of life instead of something that was created. It is sometimes incorporated into our actions and thoughts such as the excitement over film/books like Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings. People often refer to these not as a book or film but just as ordinary events. The cultural products usually portray the writer's social constructions about different issues and beliefs, which is why this is used as a method for this approach. Evaluation of the methodology used by the Social Constructionist Approach Strengths Weaknesses It is good method for finding out how social constructions occur as it finding out how people construct through their own eyes. This also means that culture and the time period can be taken into account when analysing. There are problems with ethics and informed consent with this methodology. This is because it is often unethical to intrude in private conversations, which is why informed consent is needed. But this may cause social desirability bias where people act up to be seen in a good light. This is the same problem that occurs in interviews. ...read more.

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