Essentialist Theory Of Social Constructionism

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In order to answer this question, it is essential to understand what Social Constructionism is. This theory was developed by Berger and Luckmann (1996), claiming that ‘all reality and meaning is subjective and created through dynamic interactions with other individuals and groups’. This infers that individuals are created via social processes, rather than from a sense of the individual’s free will. Whilst this theory is both compared and contrasted to essentialism and realism, it is important to note that social constructionism can’t fit into the structure of essentialism, however it can be applied visa-versa; according to this theory, race would not be deemed as a natural phenomenon, but a product of our society. In this essay I am going to …show more content…
Despite this progression, in racial equality, the meanings of belonging to particular racial groups have remained fixed within a political, social and economic sense. A blatant racial hierarchy has continued to persist within all societies, where light-skinned individuals are ranked above those who are darker. As B. Fields explains, this can be seen ‘during the era of the American Revolution as a way of resolving the contradiction between a natural right to freedom and the fact of slavery’, hence it is clear that social constructionism helps explain the promotion of white supremacy, where race is a social identity that acts as a premise for ethnocentrism (Omi and Winant). For example, White-British/American individuals hold themselves out as supporters of racial integration, however how can they justify the ongoing racism in Western employment sectors? According to recent analysis by The Colour of Power, 97% of the most powerful elites in Britain are White, despite a population of 13% holding a minority background. Eddo-Lodge writes that ‘white privilege is a manipulative, suffocating blanket of power that envelops everything we know, like a snowy day’. Evidently race goes beyond one’s skin colour, and has significant involvement within class, wealth and employment, hence it remains a notion that doesn’t represent reality, but is an invention of any given

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