Social Construction and the Reiteration of Culture

Topics: Social constructionism, Human, Linguistics Pages: 4 (1198 words) Published: May 23, 2013
“Take the notion of tradition: it is intended to give a special temporal status to a group of phenomena that are both successive and identical (or at least similar); it makes it possible to rethink the dispersion of history in the form of the same; it allows a reduction of the difference proper to every beginning, in order to pursue without discontinuity the endless search for origin.” -Michel Foucault (The Archeology of Knowledge)

Advances in contemporary neuroscience and cognitive psychology have allowed scientists and nonscientists alike to sidestep the static notion that an “old dog can’t learn new tricks.” Conceptually, neuroplasticity is nothing revolutionary, making the physiology of neuroplasticity intelligible via language is what makes the burgeoning field of neuroplasticity relevant. This paper seeks to examine communicative tools, such as language/writing , clocks and maps and how they have shaped the malleable human brain while symbiotically shaping society. This paper considers the divergent rhetoric of both essentialism and social-constructionism to construct an argument that posits social-constructionism as the most logical approach to understanding the forces of neuroplasticity and society. This paper asserts that while humans are “hard-wired” with certain characteristics, humanity can never full deconstruct themselves out of the technology and discourse they are born into without simultaneously reinforcing the system in which they seek to deconstruct. In the vein of social-constructionism, this papers draws on the use of reiteration and its use as a strategic device to reaffirm identity, location and status. Infants begin learning language by reading their parents’ facial expression(s) and body language. Facial expressions are then mapped into the brain via associative memory and assigned words within language. Language acquisition and the mapping of facial expressions to particular words is not universal, but requires the use of a culturally...
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