What we believe to be “true and objective” is the result of social processes and takes place within a social context! All knowledge is socially constructed, and language is central to this and how we view the world. This is the view of what we may call the branch of “social constructionists” in the science of humanities. Let’s take a panoptical look at what “social construction” is and why most social scientists contend that if indeed society and all of its composite elements are constructed, meaning that it’s “made up” as we go along, that indeed it can be deconstructed.
Thus, Critical Race Theory Practitioners like myself believe that we can unlearn and relearn an entirely different paradigm set once presented with the “blue pill” “red pill” choices.
Social constructionism is a theory of knowledge in sociology and communication theory that examines the development of jointly-constructed understandings of the world that form the basis for shared assumptions about reality. It centres on the notion that meanings are developed in coordination with others rather than separately within each individual.
Social constructs can be different based on the society and the events surrounding the time frame in which they exist. An example of a social construct is money or the concept of currency, as people in society have agreed to give it importance/value. Another example of a “social construction” is the concept of self /self-identity. Charles Cooley stated based on his “looking glass theory: “I am not who you think I am; I am not who I think I am; I am who I think you think I am.” This articulates the perspective that; people in society construct ideas or concepts that may not exist without people or language to validate them.
There are weak and strong social constructs- The Weak social constructs rely on brute facts (which are fundamental facts that are difficult to explain or understand, such as quarks) or institutional facts (formed from social conventions). Strong social constructs rely on the human perspective and knowledge that does not just exist but is constructed by society. In effect, another way to articulate it is a social construct or construction is the meaning, notion, or connotation placed on an object or event adopted by the inhabitants of that society in how they view or deal with the object or event. In that respect, a social construct as an idea would be widely accepted as natural by society.
A paramount focus of social constructionism is to uncover how individuals and groups participate in “the construction” of their perceived social reality.
It involves looking at how social phenomena are developed, institutionalized, known and made into a tradition that informs our culture and social mores by humans.
When you look at a map of the world, you know that the lines of longitude and latitude are fictional, that borders don’t exist in reality, yet we require them to make sense of our world around us. This is the kernel of all our understanding of what we see and perceive as our reality. Thus, much like in the famous turn of the century movie, “The Matrix,” you are always presented with the choice of taking the “blue pill,” meaning you live a life of intellectual servitude, or the “red pill,” meaning that you become more self and socially conscious, and aware of your place in the world.