You are here

Making Societies

Making Societies
The Historical Construction of Our World

January 2001 | 240 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

The only book written for undergraduates about the social construction of reality that is also historical and comparative. In addition, it includes chapters on the social construction of time and space, as well as the more traditional chapters on race, class, and gender.

This book shows how these social constructions of time, space, race, gender and class intersect with each other to produce particular social phenomena that are enduring and significant for our society. No other book for undergraduate teaching has ever done this … this is a real first!

"If the goal of this series is to broaden the students'' vision, no book is more ambitious toward attaining that goal than Making Societies. Roy helps students question the most ''natural'' of categories: time, space, gender, race, and class. Leading them through examples drawn from around the world, he shows how these categories are social constructions; historically formed, ideologically loaded, and subject to change. This may be profoundly unsettling, for students will be encouraged to question not only what they know but also the conceptual frameworks they use when they claim to understand anything. As Series Editors, it is our belief that this provocation will open new ways of thinking about the social world, how it is, and how it might be."
—Wendy Griswold, Series Editor, Northwestern University, from the foreword

"I love the organizing concept of the social construction of reality and using a cross-cultural historical comparative approach to analyzing key themes: space, time, race, gender, and class. I particularly like the focus on space and time first because it illustrates how deeply embedded the social construction of reality is."
—Joanne Defiore, University of Washington, Bothel

"The book is intellectually strong; it is driven by ideas and engages important processes of social life."
—Lisa Brush, University of Pittsburgh

Contributor to the SAGE Teaching Innovations and Professional Development Award

Find out more at

Illustrations: Figures and Table
About the Author and Publisher
1. Constructing Historical Reality
What Is Intelligence and Why Does It Matter?  
The Social Construction of Reality  
The Process of Social Construction  
Dominant Institutions and Power  
2. Time
Linear and Cyclical Time  
The History of Time  
Time as Quantity and Commodity  
3. Space (coauthored with Patricia Ahmed)
Space as a Thing  
The Earliest Known Conceptions of Space  
Non-Anglo-European Conceptions of Space  
Early Anglo-European Conceptions of Space  
Toward a Contemporary Anglo-European Understanding of Space  
4. Race
The Paradox of Race  
What Is Race?  
Preracial Categories  
From Preracial to Racial Categories  
5. Gender
Is Anatomy Destiny?  
Sex and Gender  
The Logic of the Category  
The History of Bodies  
Changing Gender in Anglo-European Society  
Homosexual and Homosocial Relations  
6. Class
The Meaning of Class  
The Origins of Class-Based Societies  
Cultural Boundaries  
7. Intersections Small and Large
The Home  

Too advanced for an introductory course.

Soci Soc Work Crim Just Dept, University of North Carolina - Pembroke
January 11, 2012

Course not offered because of budget cuts

Kenneth Wilson
Sociology Dept, East Carolina University
September 26, 2011

Preview this book

For instructors

Review and Desk copies for this title are available digitally via VitalSource.

Request e-review copy

If you require a print review copy, please call: (800) 818-7243 ext. 6140 or email

Select a Purchasing Option

ISBN: 9780761986621

This title is also available on SAGE Knowledge, the ultimate social sciences online library. If your library doesn’t have access, ask your librarian to start a trial.