The theory of social construction, explained in depth by the University of California, asserts that society places people in groups and favors certain groups over others. The International Encyclopedia states that a social construct is an idea or notion that appears to be obvious to a person who accepts it although it is not reality. Rather, it is an invention of society.Know More
The Encyclopedia of Sociology states that credit for naming this theory goes to Thomas Luckmann, who wrote "The Social Construction of Reality" in 1966. According to Luckmann, society is a product created by humans; it is an objective reality, and man is a social product.
The University of California explains in further detail that a person's societal beliefs defines what is "normal" and what is not. Society defines a person as a "man" or a "woman" based on the genitalia that the person possesses at birth. Society defines the characteristics that a man should have and those that a woman should have. It is society's opinion that men should have more power than women, so this is the way that women and men are taught from birth.
Humans learn society's beliefs from birth, and as a result, they are participants in the social construction theory. This theory also includes race, asserting that race is also used to group and class in society.Learn more about Cultures & Traditions
Examples of social norms are that people should bathe, wear appropriate clothing and use polite language. Social norms are unwritten rules less formal than law that may carry social penalties when violated, such as ostracism by a social group or being fired from work.Full Answer >
Racism is corrosive for a society because it teaches people to make judgments about others on the basis of the way they look or assumptions that they might make about people from different cultures. Racism allows people to justify all sorts of indignities and horrors to be visited on people from other cultures by saying that the other people are inferior or somehow less than human in some way.Full Answer >
The elitist theory of government stresses that those people with resources and wealth garner the power in society. It is opposite of pluralism.Full Answer >
Social contract theory is the belief that societies exist through a mutual contract between individuals, and the state exists to serve the will of the people. The origins of social contract theory come from Plato's writings.Full Answer >