Social Constructionism

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This essay will discuss
This essay will begin by defining key terms Jewkes (2012) defines Crime as the violation of law, however it has been extended to include social harm, which is culturally relative and ultimately depends on theoretical position of those defining it. Jewkes also defines Deviance, as a social and usually moral (as opposed to legal) concept to describe rule breaking behaviour. According to Surrette (2007) Social constructionism simply put, views knowledge as something that is socially created by people, it takes the shared meanings that people hold in common such as ideas and interpretations of reality, agreeing to view it in a certain way.Social knowledge can change as perceptions and perspectives change, with social knowledge being gained from 4 main sources (Personal experiences, (Significant others, other social groups and the media - symbolic)). Social constructionist theory recognises 3 kinds of reality; Experienced reality, symbolic reality and socially constructed reality. Experienced reality is knowledge gained through an individual’s direct experience of the world, this form of reality has a powerful influence on the individual but is limited in scope. The second is symbolic reality where the three sources share their knowledge symbolically where events you did not witness but believe occurred, all the information from the world you believe to be true but did not collect yourself. Consequently, the socially constructed reality Is a mixture of personal and symbolic knowledge and experience which forms our own individual ‘world’. Surrette 2007 breaks down the media’s role in the process of social construction into 4 categories, the first category describes how crimes occur in the physical world and are recognised by organisations and individuals. Surrette notes that the first stage usually dictates the boundaries and conditions which the other stages must work within. The second stage offers how competing constructions show...
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