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Medical sociologists use social constructionist theory to interpret the social experience of illness.Social constructionism holds that individuals and groups produce their own conceptions of reality, and that knowledge itself is the product of social dynamics.
Social constructionism is a theory of knowledge in sociology and communication theory that examines the development of jointly constructed understandings of the world that form the basis for shared assumptions about reality.
The authors explore the cultural meaning of illness, discuss how individuals experience illness, and critique the foundations of medical knowledge.
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If you have access to a journal via a society or association membership, please browse to your society journal, select an article to view, and follow the instructions in this box.This way of conceptualizing this relationship is a logical result of the circumstantial differences of their emergence.In subsequent analyses these differences between PCP and SC were framed around several points of tension, formulated as binary oppositions: personal/social; individualist/relational; agency/structure; constructivist/constructionist.Although some of the most important issues in contemporary psychology are elaborated in these contributions, the polarized positioning also sustained the idea of a separation between PCP and SC, paving the way for only limited opportunities for dialogue between them.Reframing the relationship between PCP and SC may be of use in both the PCP and the SC communities.Therefore, social constructs can be different based on the society and the events surrounding the time period in which they exist.A social construct or construction concerns the meaning, notion, or connotation placed on an object or event by a society, and adopted by the inhabitants of that society with respect to how they view or deal with the object or event.The theory centers on the notion that meanings are developed in coordination with others rather than separately within each individual.Social constructionism questions what is defined by humans and society to be reality.More than four decades later, a sizable number of theory and research pledged to the basic tenet that people "make their social and cultural worlds at the same time these worlds make them." In social constructionist terms, "taken-for-granted realities" are cultivated from "interactions between and among social agents;" furthermore, reality is not some objective truth "waiting to be uncovered through positivist scientific inquiry." Social constructionism understands the "fundamental role of language and communication" and this understanding has "contributed to the linguistic turn" and more recently the "turn to discourse theory." Andy Lock and Tomj Strong trace some of the fundamental tenets of social constructionism back to the work of the 18th-century Italian political philosopher, rhetorician, historian, and jurist Giambattista Vico.According to Lock and Strong, other influential thinkers whose work has affected the development of social constructionism are: Edmund Husserl, Alfred Schutz, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Martin Heidegger, Hans-Georg Gadamer, Paul Ricoeur, Jürgen Habermas, Emmanuel Levinas, Mikhail Bakhtin, Valentin Volosinov, Lev Vygotsky, George Herbert Mead, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Gregory Bateson, Harold Garfinkel, Erving Goffman, Anthony Giddens, Michel Foucault, Ken Gergen, Mary Gergen, Rom Harre, and John Shotter.