Social Constructionism, Identity and the Concept of Deviance

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Social Constructionism, Identity and the Concept of Deviance Social constructionist use the term social construction to imply that our understanding of the world in which we live is constructed from the social interactions we have on a daily basis. In reference to identity, social constructionist theory (SCT) proposes that we as social beings actively construct our identities using social tools as the means in which to construct our identities, the foremost one being language. This particular theory views identity as conditional and self motivated as well as being related to one’s culture. Although other theories on identity consider the personal and social identity to be separate, SCT considers the personal and social identity to be one and the same, which is then used as the social means that makes it possible for us to navigate through life (Hewitt, 2007). Essentially the main purpose of this essay is to help the reader develop an understanding of how identities are constructed in regards to the social constructionist theory, as well as give a better understanding of the concept of the term deviance. Language is without a doubt one of humankind’s most influential social tool, which is what makes it possible for people to communicate effectively as well as share our own understanding of the world around us to create what social scientist call “natural understanding” (Hewitt, 2007). However, the fact that language is designed and constructed, this fact alone suggests that concepts such as identity are constructed according to social interaction. According to Ann Phoenix when someone tries to get a better understanding of self through taking the Twenty Statements Test, our social relationships and roles are responsible for constructing our identities. Another example of constructing identity was given by Kenneth Gergen; a personal account of his identity depicts how his own identity was constructed through social relationships. He associated his own...
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