Re: Social Constructionism
Tue, 2 Jun 1998 15:21:38 -0400

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>Subject: Re: Social Constructionism
>From: Charles Smith <>
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>At 14:30 2-6-98 +1200, you wrote:
>>I am about three-quarters of the way through Vivien Burr's book "An
>>Introduction to Social Constructionism." I have two questions of my
>>learned colleagues on this list.
>>Question 1.
>>Are Personal Construct Psychology and Social Constructionism
>>incompatible points of view? I find myself beginning to place a foot
>>in each camp. I see some specific areas of incompatibility but a
>>number of areas of congruence. In your opinion(s) can a person
>>comfortably subscribe to both PCP and Social Constructionism
>(Question 2 deleted)
>>Dr. Robin Hill
>I used to worry about this question while studying for a psychology degree.
>As a practitioner (change management) I find it difficult to think about one
>perspective without the other.
>As an example, someone recently said to me: "Of course, if my boss gives me
>an order, then I've got to do it". This statement can be analysed in social
>constructionist terms - it is dependent on a whole range of social meanings
>about hierarchies and authority. On the other hand, I could enquire into the
>construing of the speaker of himself as dependent or subservient, and what
>that means to him. The speaker is simultaneously construing himself in
>hierarchical terms, and, by his statement, producing social meanings.
>Individuals have personal constructs, but they are framed in social terms.
>Individuals validate these constructs using social meanings. So pcp has to
>recognise the social dimension. On the other hand, there isn't a social
>meaning that isn't generated by individuals (to validate their constructs)
>and being construed by individuals.
>Don't sit on the fence. Dismantle it.
>Don't put a foot in each camp. Reorganise them into a single camp around
>wherever you want to put your feet.
>Charles Smith