Example Of Social Constructionism

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Many agree that most things in life are socially constructed, from important ideas of race, gender, and class to things of lesser importance like quarks, brotherhood and the child viewer of television (Hacking, 1999, pg. 1). Many also agree that social construction is part of everyday life and as Strasser (1999, pg.1) points out, simply by looking at something with a certain conceptual framework in mind, one is constructing it. Although Strasser and many other social constructionists like Lindgren believe that social constructionism is a positive and progressive theory of knowledge (Baxter, 2016), there are others who view it differently. Hacking, for example, believes that constructionism is both an obscure concept as well as an overused…show more content…
Child abuse is a topic not to be taken too lightly for it is considered one of the most inhumane things to do. However, people are using it as a metaphor to describe something they may also see as inhumane, something that Hacking brings up in his book. He shares that a Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Trees was founded because a man compared child abuse to tree abuse (Hacking, 1999, pg. 152), something that pales in comparison to the actual ramifications of abuse. As Hacking quite rightfully exclaims, the man’s comparison was a “bad joke” but child abuse is absolutely not one. Through the comparison of such trivial matters to such significant discussions, it takes away from the seriousness of the matter at hand. Hacking’s (1999, pg. 160) looping effects argues that the concept of child abuse and the knowledge surrounding it may have been so made up that there is no real, concrete, factual knowledge of the matter. As well, Hacking (1999, pg. 143) also mentions that there is no empirical data supporting the increase in child abuse, yet people are concerned with the “tragic increase of child battery”. Strasser, however, views this differently. He argues “real monsters [have] overwhelmed the mass media, thereby igniting the public imagination” and that this allows for the public resentment of crimes like child abuse to be “rightly pilloried” (Strasser, 1999, pg. 234). But this is not always the case, for instance; the multimillion-dollar movie industry is taking cases of abuse and turning it into a source of entertainment for people. Perhaps if the purposes of these movies were to raise awareness, it would be a different story, but it is not, so aren’t they just exploiting the idea of child abuse and turning it into a theatrical? This is another example of turning child abuse into something as trivial as a movie. Although there are many people who do take
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