Sociology Index


The phrase social construction of reality was used in 1966 by Peter Berger and T. Luckmann. Social construction of reality is an aspect of many micro interpretive theory perspectives in sociology and must be understood as a contrast to positivistic sociology (Positivism) and structural sociology (Structuralism).

Like cultural construction of reality, social construction of reality is an aspect of interpretive perspectives in sociology. Rejecting the notion that events or social phenomena have an independent and objective existence, they examine the methods that members of society use to create or socially construct reality.

David Emile Durkheim, for example was a positivist and a structuralist and argued that suicide had an objective existence. That is, there was something about the way of death that constituted something as a suicide.

An advocate of the social construction of reality perspective would argue that suicide is just a label for a death and is constituted, or created, by the accounts that people like police, family, or coroners give of the death. Our accounting methods then construct reality rather than there being some independent reality which we can describe or explain.

Making Societies : The Historical Construction of Our World Book by William G. Roy
Includes chapters on the social construction of time and space and also chapters on race, class, social class, gender and gender roles.

Public Relations in the Social Construction of Reality: Theoretical and Practical Implications of Berger and Luckmann's View of the Social Construction of Reality. - White, Jon. 
What the public regards as social reality is a construction to which each member contributes to develop a picture of the world. People negotiate with other people regarding the meaning of the information provided.

Teaching Social Construction of Reality in the Basic Course: Opening Minds and Integrating Units. - Dixson, Marcia D. - Explores the introduction of social construction of reality into the basic communication course. Discusses the uses of social construction of reality as a foundation for teaching students about communication processes.

MEDIA AND THE SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION OF REALITY - Toward an Integration of Theory and Research, HANNA ADONI, SHERRILL MANE, Hebrew University of Jerusalem 
A theoretical framework common to studies of the role of the mass media in the process of the social construction of reality. Media and the social construction of reality are classified and discussed according to the model.

Some Processes in the Cultivation Effect 
Robert P. Hawkins, Suzanne Pingree, University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Heavy television viewers incorporate biases present in television content into their own social constructions of reality.

Using Stories to Reframe the Social Construction of Reality: A Trio of Activities 
Sandra Morgan, University of Hartford, Robert F. Dennehy, Pace University.
The theoretical grounding for both storytelling and the social construction of reality. Classroom-tested tools for combining stories with reality construction is described.

B2B 'Relationships' - A Social Construction of Reality? - A Study of Marks and Spencer and One of its Major Suppliers - Keith Blois, Templeton College, University of Oxford, UK.
Questions whether or not 'a relationship' in the B2B context is a social construction of reality.