What is Social Construction?
Social Construction Theory is concerned with the ways we think about and use categories to structure our experience and analysis of the world. (Jackson, Penrose)
Nurture versus Nature
The Nurture approach would say that rather than genetics or inborn traits, social ideas and categories (including stereotypes) are socially constructed or and then accepted as reality, despite the facts.
– For instance, the earth was once considered flat, and all perception and ideas in society revolved around that premise.
Nature Versus Nurture
– The Nature Approach argues that traits are inborn and fixed at birth. For instance, one current trend that supports this perspective, is the idea of Designer Babies. People web order genetic eggs or sperm, based on the SAT Score of the father (at least 1500) or buy eggs from (what is considered) the best looking Models. (the most popular Design is blond, blue eyed and Caucasian)
– The Nature approach would suggest that Genetics or Nature determines a babies characteristics and intelligence, not social environment.
The Bell Curve
Along these lines, “The Bell Curve Study” also suggested that some racial groups of people were more intelligent than others or were genetically inferior.
Context and Intelligence
Critics of the the “Bell Curve Study suggests that the test used was culturally biased. In others words, contextually based.
For instance, an expert in any given field will do poorly if taken out of the context of their expertise. If you tested an English Professor on the basics of Auto Mechanics, you may be shocked at how he/she scores!
Experts in a Given Area….
Or if you were tested on the 16 different types of snow, you might do poorly
--unless you were Eskimo. In other words, the “cultural knowledge” used to create a given test, may be lopsided.
Overall Social Theorists….