Social Constructionism and Gender

Topics: Reality, Epistemology, Social constructionism Pages: 4 (1258 words) Published: October 14, 2007
Social Constructionists, advocates of the "Theory of Social Constructionism," are of the belief that all concepts or practices which may seem natural to humankind are in reality an invention of a particular culture or society (Wikipedia, Social Constructionism). These practices and beliefs are called social constructs, believed to be by-products of (often unintended or unwanted) decisions of an individual (Wikipedia, Social Construction). Meaning, an individual believes he is making a decision of his own accord when in actuality the choice was already made and given to him through the rules and laws of his society or societies. According to a paper on the subject of Social Constructionism written by Dr. William Rouster "Knowledge is not just something that happens in a society, but essentially something that is created by the members of a society by agreement"(1). Meaning whatever is currently "known" to be truth is not in actuality a truth, rather the "known" truth is a perceived truth agreed upon by those who believe it. In addition, Social Constructionists do not believe in reality as it is, but rather that reality is, itself, a social construct created by those who believe in that perceived reality (Wikipedia, Social Construction). Everything we, as a society, have come to believe in as truth or as personal perception of the world around us has been constructed by preconceived notions and ideals. Any individual thought one believes to be his own is not in actuality individual thought but rather societal belief. Social construction of gender role is one of the most noticeable and most cited social constructs of today's western culture. According to the Department of Education, Training, and the Arts; we are sent messages daily of our correct role in society as depicted by our gender received at birth (Social Construction of Gender). The saying "Boys will be boys. Girls will be girls." shows the separation our society places on gender. It is "common...
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