Social constructionism is a theory that holds that the way different peoples (cultures) construct their reality is dependent on their shared social experience & worldview. A social construct is a way that a culture or society imposes a shared order over the natural world. As language is the primary medium through which social interactions are mediated….our language and how we define the world shapes our understanding of it. And, that process is essentially a shared social process. In essence, we get together as a group and develop shared definitions about the natural world around us.
In this view, “truth and meaning are seen as culturally determined constructions”.
For me, in this class, the topic of race highlighted the presence of socially constructed understandings. Essentially, we take the breadth of human diversity and assign distinct categories based on perceived shared attributes. But, when we look around, other groups are taking the same set of natural circumstances and applying a different set of definitions and coming up with different categories.
By and large, I see how this works…we come together and created shared definitions for the world around us….But, on the other hand, I think about a landscape….am I truly seeing/perceiving something different than someone from a different social or culture perspective. Does that tree not exist? Does the grass not look as green?