Social Constructionism, Identity and the Concept of Deviance Essay example

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Social Constructionism, Identity and the Concept of Deviance
Social constructionist use the term social construction to imply that our understanding of the world in which we live is constructed from the social interactions we have on a daily basis. In reference to identity, social constructionist theory (SCT) proposes that we as social beings actively construct our identities using social tools as the means in which to construct our identities, the foremost one being language.
This particular theory views identity as conditional and self motivated as well as being related to one’s culture. Although other theories on identity consider the personal and social identity to be separate, SCT considers the personal and social identity to be
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Language is chosen in function of the discourses available in that society at that time. Research has supported this by observing that people select different ways of answering the Twenty Statement Test depending on whether their society is considered collectivist or individualist (Mapping Psychology, 2002).
Collectivist societies such as China describe themselves in regards to their relationships to other people, their place in society, where as the Unites States is actually an individualist society, and as such, are more focused on their selves as individuals within society, without including the contexts of their identities(Hewitt, 2007).

People with physical disabilities strive to alter the way language is used to describe them; this lends further support in understanding how the discourses available are used to construct identity (Mapping Psychology, 2002).
The historical period and culture have immense effect on the social tools available to us to construct identity and thus are crucial in understanding the formation of identity.
This can be reflected by taking the historical and cultural contexts in which theories of identity have been produced, such theories as, psychoanalytic theory, social cognition theory, learning theory and psychosocial identity theory. Erickson’s psychosocial identity theory was influenced by his own turbulent adolescent years. Being raised by