11 Things That Are Social Constructs

11 Things That Are Social Constructs

We have created a lot of the concepts we are so familiar with.
72526
views

What is a social construct?

Well, it is exactly as it sounds. It is something that is not inherently natural, but created by society. It is an extremely important concept in the social sciences because without them, society would not be the same. The constructs very much shape our lives. But we also shape them. If the existing society changed, new constructs would develop and old ones may weaken. Different societies have different constructs; what is the "norm" here may clash with what is the "norm" in another country.

1. Government

If government wasn't a social construct, there wouldn't be so many differing opinions on what is the "best type of government".

2. Race

"Race is not biological...There is no gene or cluster of genes common to all blacks or all whites. Were race “real” in the genetic sense, racial classifications for individuals would remain constant across boundaries."

3. Gender

Gender is not inherent. Genders are the socially constructed roles, behaviors, etc. that society considers appropriate for "men" and "women".

4. Femininity/Masculinity

Society tells us what is feminine/ masculine and how it can be displayed. The values tied to masculinity have been generally seen as superior to those associated with femininity.

5. Illness

Societies diagnosis differently, and treat the patients differently. Therefore, the concept of illness is constructed. If it wasn't there wouldn't be as much of a variety of treatments for the "same illness".

6. Marriage

The concept of marriage is not universal. Some versions are more inclusive than others.

7. Family

The stereotypical family dynamic varies from culture to culture; there is no inherent family structure.

8. Organized Religions

Among other things, organized religion was created by humans as a way of connecting to each other.

9. Technology

The importance and impact of technology isn't the same for every society. Some heavily rely on it, while some oppose it.

10. Deviance

Deviant behavior is extremely relative. One society may consider something to be wrong or different, while another may not.

11. Education

The process of learning is socially constructed. There is no universal outline for education. The values of a society play into the "education experience".


Cover Image Credit: hyperallergic.com

Popular Right Now

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

Our Leaders Need A 'Time-Out'

We all learned a few essential rules as children.

140
views

As I look watch the news, I can't help but wonder if the lessons we learned as children might not serve our leaders well. They seem to have forgotten these basic lessons. I am reminded of the book by Robert Fulghum "All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten."

Watch out, hold hands, and stick together.

I think this could be useful in a couple of different contexts. First, the current divisiveness in the country doesn't serve us well. We are first and foremost, a part of the family of humankind. Differences in politics, religion, and so on come in far behind that one important attribute. What happened to the notion of agreeing to disagree?

Second, when leaders get off a plane in another country, they should remember who they came with and who they represent - "watch out, hold hands, and stick together."

Clean up your own mess.

Trump seems to take great pleasure in blaming everyone else for their "mess." The government shutdown was someone else's fault – any Democrat. When the stock market went up, he happily took credit, but when it went down, he quickly shifted gears and placed the blame on the Federal Reserve Chairman. Daily and hourly tweets out of the White House place blame on someone else for his "mess." Sadly, he still likes to blame Obama and Hillary for his mess.

Don't lie.

Politicians have always had a bad reputation when it comes to honesty. Still, the number of lies that we hear from Trump (and members of his staff) is unprecedented even for a politician.

We all learned these lessons when we were little more than five years old. Now more than any time in history I think our leaders need a " time out" to re-learn these lessons.

Related Content

Facebook Comments