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Realities and Relationships

Realities and Relationships

Soundings in Social Construction

Kenneth J. Gergen

ISBN 9780674749313

Publication date: 09/30/1997

Recent attempts to challenge the primacy of reason—and its realization in foundationalist accounts of knowledge and cognitive formulations of human action—have focused on processes of discourse. Drawing from social and literary accounts of discourse, Kenneth Gergen considers these challenges to empiricism under the banner of “social construction.” His aim is to outline the major elements of a social constructionist perspective, to illustrate its potential, and to initiate debate on the future of constructionist pursuits in the human sciences generally and psychology in particular.


  • Critics and supporters alike of social constructionism will find Gergen’s volume an important contribution. It provides a cogent and powerfully rendered statement of the assumptions and claimed potentials of social constructionism...Realities and Relationships will likely emerge as a classic that will be cited widely for some time to come.

    —Leslie A. Baxter, Contemporary Psychology


  • Kenneth J. Gergen is Senior Research Professor of Psychology at Swarthmore College. He is the author of The Saturated Self and Toward Transformation in Social Knowledge.

Book Details

  • 368 pages
  • 6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches
  • Harvard University Press