SocietyA society is a system that allows people in a region to get along in productive and peaceful cooperation.
LawThe laws and regulations of nations, cities and international agreements.
EconomicsEconomics such as economic systems, regulations, markets, business models and production methods.
LanguagesNatural languages such as Mandarin, Spanish, English and French.
ConceptsConcepts are mostly tied to language but can also exist as visuals. For example, the concept of civility is a social construct.
CultureThe traditional culture of a nation or people and other types of culture such as subculture, super culture and organizational culture.
Literature & MusicProducts of individual imagination are typically based on existing culture such that they are partially socially constructed. For example, grammar or musical notes are social constructs that are used by individuals to create works of cultural value.
EntertainmentEntertainment is built on top of language and culture such that it is largely socially constructed.
ArtArt is a type of culture that is based on both individual creativity and shared understandings and methods.
ArchitectureArchitecture is partially socially constructed but is also heavily based on hard sciences such as physics and geology and applied sciences such as civil engineering.
TraditionsTraditions such as a festival or custom.
FashionFashion norms, methods and traditions.
CommunicationCommunication such as the visual symbols of a nation.
TechnologyTechnology is the application of science to produce tools and systems that serve human needs. It is mostly shaped by hard sciences and applied sciences. However, it can also be partially socially constructed. For example, a video game with characters who wear socially constructed fashion that executes on a computer that is a product of engineering.
RolesSocial and economic roles such as a grandfather or police officer.
NormsNorms such as shaking hands as a greeting.
EmotionsEmotions are a biological thing that would exist without society. However, they may be colored by social constructs such as the concept of bravery or kindness.
Human BehaviorHuman behavior is driven by complex factors of biology, individual experience, culture, tradition and systems such as society. As such, human behavior is partially socially constructed unless an individual lives in a state of anomie.
NotesSocial constructs are mostly intangible. However, it is a mistake to think that social constructs aren't real or that they don't have value. For example, the French language is socially constructed and it has great value to humanity. As social constructs emerge within a society over many years with a process of communication and political competition they are generally slow to change.Intangible social constructs such as an economic system can have physical manifestations such as factories, infrastructure, machines and pollution.Social constructionists are criticized for a tendency towards promoting pseudoscience by suggesting that physics, biology and other hard sciences are socially constructed. It should be made clear that the generally accepted laws and theories of hard sciences are not socially constructed but are observations of the physical universe. For example, it is nonsense to suggest that time, space or the organs of the human body are socially constructed.Postmodernists commonly embrace a concept known as relativism whereby individuals define their own reality and are then justified to make the rest of society follow this reality which they are free to change at any time. It is unclear exactly how this is supposed to work as all societies up to this point have depended on shared social constructs to get along and to be productive.
|Overview: Social Constructs|