Social Constructionism, Identity and the Concept of Deviance Essay

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Social Constructionism, Identity and the Concept of Deviance Social constructionist use the term social construction to imply that our understanding of the world in which we live is constructed from the social interactions we have on a daily basis. In reference to identity, social constructionist theory (SCT) proposes that we as social beings actively construct our identities using social tools as the means in which to construct our identities, the foremost one being language. This particular theory views identity as conditional and self motivated as well as being related to one’s culture. Although other theories on identity consider the personal and social identity to be separate, SCT considers the personal and social identity to be…show more content…
He did not consider this a natural development, rather an aspect of his life which he constructed himself, hence constructing his own identity (Mapping Psychology, 2002). Another aspect of constructing identity can be applied to the concept of deviance, symbolic interactionist refer to deviance using the labeling theory, which refers to the meanings that stem from labels, symbols, actions, and reactions that people have toward one another. This theory states that behaviors are only deviant if and when society labels them as deviant. This being the case, members of society that have conformed to what is considered non-deviant behavior, (normal behavior) then interpret behaviors that go against social norms as deviant and as such, attach the label of deviant onto those individuals (Hewitt, 2007). The concept of deviance fits right into the SCT because the individuals that are labeled deviant have in some way shape or form constructed the deviant identity that warrants such a label. Our autobiographical narratives also support the construction of identity, by using cultural models of self narration as well as drawing on our own experiences, who we associate with, when and where, all have an impact on how we tell our stories (Hewitt, 2007). This serves in understanding how identities are fluid and are always changing from situation to situation, an aspect which anyone from the psychosocial school of thought

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