Social Constructionism: Sources and Stirrings in Theory and Practice offers an introduction to the different theorists and schools of thought that have contributed to the development of contemporary social constructionist ideas, charting a course through the ideas that underpin the discipline. From the New Science of Vico in the 18th century, through to Marxist writers, ethnomethodologists and Wittgenstein, ideas as to how socio-cultural processes provide the resources that make us human are traced to the present day. Despite constructionists often being criticised as 'relativists', 'activists' and 'anti-establishment' and for making no concrete contributions, their ideas are now being adopted by practically-oriented disciplines such as management consultancy, advertising, therapy, education and nursing. Andy Lock and Tom Strong aim to provoke a wider grasp of an alternative history and tradition that has developed alongside the one emphasised in traditional histories of the social sciences.
• Converges the phenomenological, hermeneutic, linguistic philosophy and socio-behavioural ideas that underpin contemporary social constructionist theory • Uses key historical figures, and the problems and challenges they faced, to place important developments in social constructionist thinking • Links the sources of constructionist thinking to practical implications for professionals to develop into further practices for their clients
1. Introduction; 2. Giambattista Vico; 3. Phenomenology; 4. Hermeneutics; 5. Marxism and language; 6. Vygotsky; 7. Meanings and perspectives: George Herbert Mead and Jacob von Uexküll; 8. Ludwig Wittgenstein: 'Shewing the fly out of the bottle'; 9. Gregory Bateson: a cybernetic view of communication and human interaction; 10. Sociologies: micro- and macro-: Garfinkel, Goffman and Giddens; 11. Sources of the self; 12. Foucault and his challenges; 13. Discourse analysis; 14. Ken and Mary Gergen; 15. Rom Harre; 16. John Shotter; 17. Concluding remarks.
‘An amazing accomplishment. Andy Lock and Tom Strong succeed in drawing together an enormous range of scholarship to shape current dialogues on social construction. With their articulate, well-balanced, and personalized accounts of these wide-ranging contributions, this impressive work will be an invaluable resource for scholars and students alike.’ Kenneth J. Gergen, Senior Research Professor of Psychology, Swarthmore College, and author of Relational Being
‘Andy Lock and Tom Strong skilfully situate current approaches to social constructionsim within an unbroken flow of work stretching back into the history of western thought as well as into places where it should develop further. Their work opens up whole new realms for possible empirical inquiries in the future. This is an exceptionally comprehensive survey that any psychologist interested in social constructionism should own. The authors are to be commended.’ John Shotter, Emeritus Professor of Communication, University of New Hampshire