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Social Constructionism Paperback – 7 Aug 2003


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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; 2Rev Ed edition (7 Aug 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415317606
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415317603
  • Product Dimensions: 13.8 x 1.4 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 168,944 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Review

'Social Constructionism is a substantial but well contained book which deserves to be read by a wide audience. The writer exudes a confidence with the material which will enthuse any reader.' - Richard Mallows, Head of Psychology, York St John College

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4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By conjunction on 15 Jan 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I agree with the previous reviewer. Burr is not only readable but engaging. She is not afraid of stating her own position and describes all the different flavours of social constructionism from 'Foucauldian discourse analysis' to conversation analysis etc. In particular she distinguishes between what she calls macro constructionism which is represented for instance by Foucault's view of ideological discourses and their political implications and micro constructionism which looks at how realities are constructed at the individual level.

Burr also makes brave attempts, if in my view not wholly convincing, to tackle some major perceived gaps in social constructionist theory such as the argument that by seeing everything as socially created discourse it disqualifies its own legitimacy and the question of whether there is any such thing as a self, or any role for psychology.

It's all good fun.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Elementis on 9 Mar 2010
Format: Paperback
I was recently given an assignment involving the use of discourse analysis, and required to design and conduct an experiment using it. The theoretical approach and philosophy behind this approach can be rather heavy going, and with only the most basic concepts introduced by my lecturer, I started shopping around for books on the subject.

This is an outstanding book. While it doesn't provide much detail on experimental design, it provides the most concise, and readable, overview of this approach of any book I've read. It is beautifully, clearly written, and imbues the reader with inspiration for the subject. This is the only required reading textbook I have bought during my education that I have been unable to put down. I read it during my leisure time.

This book has given me great confidence for my assessments on this subject. It is impossible to rate it highly enough.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Barry Smith on 11 Sep 2005
Format: Paperback
If you are new to the subject of social constructionism and are looking for a book which provides a good introduction and helps the newcomer (or often new student) get to grips with the subject then this book "does exactly what it says on the tin".
It's a clear and understandable overview, who can ask for more?
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By K. Winters on 7 Oct 2009
Format: Paperback
Burr's book on social constructionism manages the task of dealing with complex and potentially confusing concepts in language that is clear, concise and thoroughly accessible. She deftly moves from explaining the perspective, illustrating its application and provides an honest critique of it as well. I have started to teach a course on qualitative methods research and I've already added it to the course reading list and encouraged my students to read the entire book at some point over the academic year.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Self-help junkie VINE VOICE on 8 Dec 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Some authors know how to explain fairly complex ideas in a straighforward, but scholarly way, not skimming over tricky areas, but equally not leaving you more muddled than when you started. Others just confuse - using unnecessarily difficult language which draws your attention away from the topic being presented. Fortunately, this book falls very solidly into the first of these categories.

I think that Viven Burr has provided a really excellent overview of this field. She has clarified a lot of my thinking that was pretty soggy around the edges, and helped me to see how different theories/theorists fit together. For anyone who needs either an introduction or a summary of this area I think this is the best book I've come across so far.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mary Kelly on 4 Nov 2009
Format: Paperback
This book gives a very coherent introduction to social constructionsim and makes it very easy to understand for the lay person. I enjoyed the author's easy conversational style as she led me through the different elements of the topic. At the same time, it is a scholarly work with plenty of references for anyone who wishes to study the topic in greater depth. Her critique of socilial constructionism was also very useful. Overall I found it a very easy read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By J Phillips on 18 Mar 2011
Format: Paperback
Excellent book.

I had a basic grasp of social constructionsism from my social work degree and have been reading odd bits of stuff since . This book has all the big names in it Foucault, Derrida, Mead etc. It displays and contrasts their central message in bite sized bits just at the level you (I )need it . A very informative and well constructed read

It quotes its sources extensively and thus maps potential future reading. That is if you want to go that far, as another reviewer said " i read it during leisure and couldnt put it down " me too but i still felt I was learning valuable stuff.

Any undergrad (or Masters) social work students out there? read this, understand it, quote it in context and you will increase your grades significantly.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By F. Collier on 28 May 2012
Format: Paperback
I thought social constructionism was tosh before I read this book. I still think the ideology is tosh, but the book is very well written, and clearly explains what it sets out to explain.

Vivien Burr writes that "... social constructionism may seem initially counter-intuitive." For any student interested in more than simply passing exams, I recommend Invariances: The Structure of the Objective World by Robert Nozick. It will help the student see why social constructionist positions on objective truth and reality are so very counter-intuitive.
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