Social Construction of Reality
Social Construction of Reality
The social construction of reality commonly known as Social constructionism is a theory that is found in sociology as well as in communication theory that is used to examine the level of knowledge on development by basing the joint understanding of the people in the world hence forming the assumptions of people about reality. Social constructionism originated thirty years ago with an attempt of coming to terms with how reality is revealed naturally. Social constructionism is concerned with the meaning and notation which are placed on objects or the event which occurs in the society and adopted by the people living in a particular community in respect to how they view the events or the objects. The relationship between the inhabitants with the events and the events is also put into consideration. This paper will consider more on the work of George Herbert Mead and what other theorists such as Berger and Luckmann draw from his work.
George Herbert Mead who is the major figure of the African Philosophy involved many variables in his work which other theorists draws with Berger and Luckmann in consideration. In his work, he involved a variable of communication and mind which is under the theory of social theory. Mead describes how a mind of an individual and self of a person arises from the social process which occurs around the person. According to Mead, the mind of a person arises from the social process of communication he or she makes which cannot be understood apart from the process itself. Mead argues that the process of communication is composed of two phases which involve first the communication by use of gestures and the second is composed of communication by use of significant gestures which is termed as language (Berger & Luckmann, 1991).
In communication by use of gestures, Mead describes how dogs approach each other in a hostile kind of attitude. They move around each other snapping as well as growling with an aim of attacking each other. The act of the dog wanting to attack each other is the stimulus which Mead considers as the conversation with gestures. On the other hand, Mead describes that conversation by use of significant gestures occurs by means of words from one individual to another which is termed as language. A significant gesture, according to Mead is a gesture which is usually a vocal symbol which is used to call a person or talk to the individual. This variable is drawn by Berger and Luckmann in their theories in that communication is the main means through which message can be passed from one person to another successfully. Communication either by use of gestures or by use of significant gestures has the role of ensuring that meaningful conversation takes place in Social Construction of reality as without communication. Additionally, theories by Luckmann and Berger cannot be archived without meaningful conversation taking place.
Furthermore, Berger and Luckmann were strongly influenced by the work of Alfred Schutz while they were introducing the term ‘social construction’ into the work of social sciences. Alfred Schutz had a lot of successful variables in his theory which Berger and Luckmann drew. One of the variables which the theorists drew was a division of labor. Alfred Schutz argued that for sociology to develop, a division of labor must occur as it the key thing to develop in the society. According to Alfred Schutz, everybody in the society must be involved in one way or the other that would have a positive effect on the society involved. The kind of division of labor involves hunting, cooking and other tasks in the society. Alfred Schutz says that a society is only structured in terms of how specific roles are divided and performed by various people in the society. This variable is important in that the development of a society is determined by how various tasks are done in that society. If the division of labor is well distributed in the society, rapid growth in terms of development is archived in the society while if the division of labor is poorly carried out, little or no development is expected to take place in the society involved (Luckmann, 1966).
On the other hand, Social Interactionism is a theory that is within sociology which develops from practical considerations and alludes of people in their day to day life in making images, normal implications as they interact with one another. It is a theory that puts more emphasis on the interactions which occur amongst people in a particular society where this interaction aids in creating symbolic worlds and as a result how this worlds aids in shaping the behaviors of the individuals involved. (Berger, 1977). The social construction of reality commonly known as SCR tries to transcend the units of analysis of Symbolic Interactionism in that it involves many variables which when combined results in the development of the society positively. Among the variables that are in the Social construction of reality includes division of labor and communication and mind which are discussed above which have a great impact in ensuring that sociology has developed. By considering a large field within the society, the social construction of reality has passed the limits that affect the interaction of the society. The social construction of reality and Social Interactionism in most cases are successful in many societies in that they have led to the development of sociology to a great extent. Eighty percent of the variables introduced by Social Interactionism and social construction of reality is successful in the society (Berger & Luckmann, 1979).
As discussed above, various theorists with Luckmann and Burger in consideration have drawn variables from the work of other theorists as a result leading to the success of their work in ensuring that sociology has developed. Variables such as division of labor which Berger and Luckmann have drawn from Alfred Schutz awakens the spirit of people to work hence ensuring the development of the society. Additionally, the social construction of reality was successful in many societies hence leading to the development of the society involved.
Berger, P. L., & Luckmann, T. (1991). The social construction of reality: A treatise in the sociology of knowledge (No. 10). Penguin Uk.
Berger, P. (1977). Thomas Luckmann1966 The Social Construction of Reality. Garden City: Doubl eday.
Berger, P. (1967). Luckmann. T.(1966). The social construction of reality: A treatise in the sociology of knowledge. New York: Double and Company.
Berger, P. L., & Luckmann, T. (1979). The social construction of reality: A treatise. Penguin.