Social constructionism  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

A social construction or social construct or "the popular imagination" is any institutionalized entity or artifact in a social system "invented" or "constructed" by participants in a particular culture or society that exists because people agree to behave as if it exists or follow certain conventional rules. One example of a social construct is social status.

Social constructionism and social constructivism are sociological theories of knowledge that consider how social phenomena or objects of consciousness develop in social contexts. Within constructionist thought, a social construction (social construct) is a concept or practice that is the construct (or artifact) of a particular group. When we say that something is socially constructed, we are focusing on its dependence on contingent variables of our social selves rather than any inherent quality that it possesses in itself.

Recent developments in science have shown that many cultural practices and conceptions once thought to be purely social constructions have a strong genetic component (see for instance, Richard Dawkins' explanation for altruism in The Selfish Gene).

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Social constructionism" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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