3rd Edition

Social Constructionism

By Vivien Burr Copyright 2015
    296 Pages
    by Routledge

    286 Pages
    by Routledge

    Now in its third edition, this successful book introduces students to the area of social science theory and research known as social constructionism. Using a variety of examples from everyday experience and from existing research in areas such as personality, sexuality and health, it clearly explains the basic theoretical assumptions of social constructionism. Key debates, such as the nature and status of knowledge, truth, reality and the self are given in-depth analysis in an accessible style. Drawing on a range of empirical studies, the book clearly defines the various different approaches to social constructionist research and explores the theoretical and practical issues involved. While the text is broadly sympathetic to social constructionism, it also adopts a critical perspective to the material, addressing its weaknesses and, in the final chapter, subjecting the theory itself to a more extensive critique.

    New to this edition:

    • Extended coverage of the relationship between 'mainstream' psychology and social constructionism and how the two fields can engage with each other.
    • An exploration of the rise and popularity of neuroscience and the challenge it poses to social constructionism.
    • New material on the field of psychosocial studies.
    • Updated coverage of existing key issues such as age and sexuality, and inclusion of more recently emerging issues (e.g. status and role of affect).
    • Updated discussion of key social constructionist contributors, with revised references.
    • Updated chapter on research methods, including more on narrative and critical narrative analysis, and personal construct methods.

    The third edition of Social Constructionism extends and updates the material covered in previous editions and will be an invaluable and informative resource for undergraduate and postgraduate students across the social and behavioural sciences.

    1. What is Social Constructionism?  2. The Case for Social Constructionism  3. The Role of Language in Social Constructionism  4. What is a Discourse?  5. Is There a Real World Outside Discourse?  6. Identity and Subjectivity in Macro Social Constructionism  7. Identity and Subjectivity in Micro Social Constructionsm  8. Social Constructionist Research. 9. Issues and Debates in Social Constructionism  Glossary  Suggested Further Reading  Bibliography  Author Index  Subject Index


    Vivien Burr is a Reader in Psychology at the University of Huddersfield, UK. In addition to Social Constructionism, she is the author of Gender and Social Psychology, The Person in Social Psychology and Invitation to Personal Construct Psychology (with Trevor Butt). She is currently researching the impact of elder care on working carers’ lives.

    "Social Constructionism is a great book, and has been on my recommended reading lists for a long time. It’s been an obvious hit with students as my copy has gone missing."

    - Andy Lock, School of Psychology, Massey University, New Zealand

    "This book is an excellent introduction to social constructionism, an important critical position in psychology. Its many strengths include its impressive clarity and concision, which make the book accessible to undergraduates, and its accuracy and sophistication in its accounts of complex theoretical positions, meaning that the readership can extend (and has extended) to postgraduate students and to academics moving into this area of work."

    - Stephen Frosh, Department of Psychosocial Studies, Birkbeck, University of London, UK