Social consructivism

10 Oct 1995 16:02:04 -0500

On 08 Oct 1995 Jim Mancuso wrote:

>.... In that I cannot understand the basis of the claims of the
>unidentified writer who repeats that charge, I ask your [all of
>you] help in understanding why that claim persists?
>I happen to have some ideas on the matter of why that claim
>persists, but I need some help in developing a SOCIALLY SHARED
>CONSTRUCTION of the reasons for the persistence of that

In relation to your comments regarding criticism of Kelly's
theory and subsequent elaboration, I have attached some comments
which I made in my thesis (the references are not included though
I can edit them from a bibliography):

A controversial aspect of Kelly's theory is the importance
placed on the person and personal responsibility, an emphasis
which has been referred to as, "crusading individualism" (Holland
1977). While it is simplistic to suggest Kelly was ignorant of
social processes, this aspect of his theory has been described as
subject to, "astonishing neglect" (Duck 1983). It is
interesting, that where subsequent theorists have suggested
additional corollaries, their additions have concerned social
processes (see Winter 1992 for examples). Kelly's theory has
been criticised on three broad grounds with respect to social
processes, (1) for not adequately addressing the social origins
of construing (Procter and Parry 1978, Tyler 1981), (2) for
seeing social processes only in terms of individual processes
(Jahoda 1988) and (3) overemphasising the extent to which persons
are free to choose (Foulds 1973, Tyler 1981).

While Bannister does not specifically address these issues,
he does eloquently articulate his personal movement between
an interest in both politics and psychology (Bannister
1979). He concludes that politics and psychology are not
mutually exclusive and that Kelly's theory provides a basis
for critical and reflexive thought, and consequently for
active choice. Similarly, Kelly's contribution has been
seen as laying a blueprint for action rather than, "...
viewing the individual merely as a passive occupant of
socially determined roles" (Procter and Parry 1978, p.158).
While it has been argued that broader social processes are
beyond the scope of the theory (Jahoda 1988), Chiari and
Nuzzo (1993) assert that Personal Construct Theory has the
potential to align itself and contribute to, "... the more
explicitly social-oriented, avant-garde constructivism"