Sociological, postmodern, and new realism perspectives in social constructionism: Implications for literacy research

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Abstract

In this article, I attempt an historical definition of social constructionism, a review of its conceptual bases, and an exploration of its epistemological implications. I suggest a history for social constructionism comprised of three paradigmatically distinct waves. The first of these is sociological and empirical in nature, the second, psychological and postmodern, and the third is developmental and tied to what I here term the new realisms. I emphasize that these three formal senses of social constructionism need to be distinguished from both psychological theories of social constructivism, and from looser, colloquial senses of social construction employed in current literacy research. I then modestly speculate on how each of these formal social constructionisms could inspire future directions in literacy education research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)48-62
Number of pages15
JournalReading Research Quarterly
Volume36
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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