radical and social constructivism

Josh Soffer (joshsoffer@webtv.net)
Fri, 23 Oct 1998 02:19:33 -0500 (CDT)

Manfred wrote:
Josh , where does it say anywhere that Efran is a social constructivism.
I studied with Efran, he is my mentor. He indentifies himself as a
contextualist and radical constructivist using the ideas of Maturana,
Varela, Von Foerester, and Von Glaserfield.

Please if you have him stating that he is a social constructionist
please let me know.

In an Edited book by Neimeyer and Mahoney (Constructivism in Therapy) I
get the sense that the idea of social constructionism (Gergen) falls
within constructivist claims.
Thanks for the other info :).

I believe the organizing assumptions of social constructivism extend
beyond a particular subdisclpline of psychology. It touches upon the
thinking of philosophers like Foucault , Wittgenstein and Lyotard,
biologists like Varela, as well as political and aesthetic theory.
Efran quotes Varela as saying "Everything is said from a
tradition". Efran adds , "and those traditions inevitably determine the
form our conversations take at any particular point in time. We speak
and think with the words of our community". Language practices "tend to
entrap a person in a social cocoon of shared explanatory fictions."(JCP,
vol.7, #4, p.219-228).
Now compare this with Mascolo's characterization of social
constructionism "..the experience of our inner lives in terms of
thoughts, feelings, intentions, or selves is created in speech acts that
are constructed in joint activity with others...utterances are always
constrained by the culturally created speech genres or which they are a
part." (vol.10,1,p.1,1997).

And you are right; I should have depicted social constructionism as a
member of the larger constructivist community.

Regards, Josh Soffer