Social Constructionism

Lluis Botella Garcia del Cid (
Tue, 2 Jun 1998 21:13:08 +0100

Devi quotes a work of mine on the "bridges" between PCP and social
construccionism. Thanks Devi; the correct reference is this:

Botella, L. (1995). Personal construct Psychology, constructivism, and
postmodern thought. In R.A. Neimeyer & G.J. Neimeyer (Eds.), Advances in
Personal Construct Psychology (Vol. 3) (pp. 3-36). Greenwich, CN: JAI

(There were also good papers on this issue at the Seattle Congress). I
do think the bridge is somehow possible, but not easy since PCP and
social construccionism certainly come from different intellectual
traditions and are interested in different issues. Even if this may
sound like an oversimplification (and it probably is) my impression is
that the main gap between them concern the "locus" of the construing
process; whereas according to PCP it is mainly personal, according to
construccionism it is mainly discursive and social (i.e.,
inter-personal). However, both positions are not at all that radical
(e.g., PCP's sociality and commonality corollaries). Recent developments
in both fields (e.g., the narrative/constructionist trends in familiy
therapy and Procter's and Feixas' approach to family construct therapy)
seem to me to contribute to a likely cross-fertilisation in limited
fields of application in a not so distant future. This
cross-fertilisation is viable since both PCP and social constructionism
share the same approach to knowledge as a construction, not a discovery,
departing from a positivist or post-positivist paradigm in the human

Luis Botella, Ph.D.
Department of Psychology
Ramon Llull University
Cister 24-34
Phone: 34-3-253 30 00
Fax: 34-3-253 30 31