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An Invitation to Social Construction
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An Invitation to Social Construction

Third Edition


© 2015 | 272 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

This new edition of Kenneth J. Gergen’s celebrated text An Invitation to Social Construction is now even more accessible for students, offering  a clear and thorough introduction to one of the most significant movements in contemporary social science.

 

The Third Edition includes:

  • updates reflecting the many new developments in theory, research, and practice
  • a more student-friendly, personal writing style
  • three new chapters on education, and therapy and health care, and organizations
  • key insights into how social construction can help support you in your research projects, from start to finish.
An Invitation to Social Construction is the must-read text for all social science students, academics and practitioners wishing to learn about social constructionism, along with the forms of inquiry and practice central to its impact.
 
CHAPTER 1: SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION - FROM “WHAT IS” TO “WHAT COULD BE”
Together We Construct our Worlds  
The Social Origins of the Real and the Good  
Grounding Dialogues on Social Construction  
From Deconstruction to Reconstruction  
Reflective Pragmatism: The Working Vocabularies of the World  
 
CHAPTER 2: CONSTRUCTING THE REAL AND THE GOOD
The Language We Live By  
Everyday Conversation: The Power of the Unremarkable  
Institutional Realities: Foucault on Power  
Identity Politics: To Be or Not To Be  
 
CHAPTER 3: HORIZONS OF HUMAN ENQUIRY
From Empiricism to Constructionism  
Research Traditions in Transformation  
Discourse Study: Exploring Constructed Worlds  
Imagination in Action: Qualitative Enquiry  
 
CHAPTER 4: THE RELATIONAL SELF
Generative Theory  
Individualism: Separation and its Discontents  
Self as Relationship: First Steps  
Self as Relationship: The Emerging Vision  
Mind as Relational Action  
Multi-Being: What Shall We Become Together?  
 
CHAPTER 5: DIALOGUE - CONFLICT AND TRANSFORMATION
Exploring Dialogue: Key Concepts  
Dialogue and Difference  
Toward Transformative Dialogue  
 
CHAPTER 6: EDUCATION AS RELATIONAL PROCESS
Knowledge as Socially Constructed  
Education as Relational Process  
The Challenge of Student Evaluation  
 
CHAPTER 7: THE HELPING PROFESSIONS - CO-CONSTRUCTION IN ACTION
Therapy as Social Construction  
Collaborative Means to Human Well-being  
Meaning and Medicine  
 
CHAPTER 8: MAKING MEANING IN ORGANIZATIONS
Organizing Through Language  
Relational Organizing: Key to the Future  
The Organization as System  
 
CHAPTER 9: SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION IN QUESTION
Realism: “But there is a World Out There!”  
The Challenge of Moral Relativism  
Missing Ingredients: The Body and Power  
The Challenge of Moral Relativism  

This third edition, enriched with three new chapters, remains an exciting introduction to the premises of social constructionism. As Gergen unfolds, in his own personal style, the ideas of dialogue, co-action and relationship one finds oneself relating to the book in the most engaging way. The book is inspiring for both the newcomer and the experienced pursuer of knowledge-making in constructionist terms.

Thalia Dragonas
University of Athens, Greece

Ken Gergen has taken all that is good in his second edition of the definitive Invitation to Social Construction, updated it, and made it even smarter.  There is no more vibrant and engaging launch point for understanding contemporary social constructionism.

Jonathan Potter
Loughborough University

The author succeeds in introducing the reader into social construction. He emphasizes that this perspective critically attempts to look at what acts as "the truth" without leading to nihilism. The combination of the scientific with the social and personal through the work makes it very accessible and easily readable. In short, the book is a comprehensive introduction to social construction, not just for novice and advanced researchers, but also for students.

Sofie De Bus
KWALON

for anyone doing social research it is an essential book. It covers a variety of topics that are analysed through social constructionism prism.

Ms Irena Loveikaite
Department of Applied Arts, Waterford Institute of Technology
November 25, 2016

This is a dynamic and engaging text that will not only encourage your students to consider which aspects of society contribute to social construction, but also motivate them to delve deeper into social theory. The writing style presents a balanced tone of questioning, theorising and evaluating.

Ms Lorraine Anne Loveland-Armour
Department of Education, Newman University
December 9, 2016

Sample Materials & Chapters

An Invitation to Social Construction: Chapter One


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ISBN: 9781446296486
ISBN: 9781446296479