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An Invitation to Social Construction [Paperback]

Kenneth Gergen
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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Book Description

March 5, 2009 1412923018 978-1412923019 2nd
This new edition of Kenneth Gergen’s landmark Invitation to Social Construction offers readers a clear and more thorough introduction to the theory and practice of social constructionism. Particular to this new edition is a writing style more directed to the undergraduate, a larger more student-friendly format as well as textboxes/visual material employed throughout to lift concepts to a more relevant state of meaning.

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Editorial Reviews

Review

`An Invitation to Social Construction is a rewarding read for newcomers to social constructionist thinking and for those well acquainted with this view' - New Therapist

`Kenneth Gergen's new book, An Invitation to Social Construction, may be the best introduction to the scholarship on social constructionism available today - but that's not all it is. It is also an inspiring and optimistic vision of what we can do to create better lives for ourselves....Gergen's new book is a key book for you to read' - Amazon

`This book lives up to its title; it is indeed "an invitation". Where most "invitations" are more, "a beginner guide to..." Gergen really seems to be saying to his audience, "have a look at this, what do you think?" I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this slim volume to any student or experienced practitioner- we all need reminding regularly of our lack of ownership of the truth' - Society for Existential Analysis

`This book, written by one of the disciplines' leading scholars and proponents, provides an interesting and reader-friendly introduction to social Constructionism, which, unlike many other books concerned with social constructionism and related issues (eg Parker 1998), does not seem to address only an academic audience who are arguably already familiar with its underlying theory, general tenets and central debates....This is a facinating and stimulating book, and Gergen's positivity and passion for the perspectives he espouses are apparent in all it's pages' - Journal of Sociolinguistics

`This book lives up to it's title; it is indeed "an invitation". Where most "invitations" are more, "a beginner's guide too....", Gergen really seems to be saying to his audience, "have a look as this, what do you think?" i wouldn't hesitate to recommend this slim volume to any student or experienced practitioner - we all need reminding regularly of our lack of ownership of the truth' - The Journal of the Society for Existential Analysis --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Kenneth J. Gergen is Mustin Professor of Psychology at Swarthmore college, USA.

CONTRIBUTORS' AFFILIATIONS OUTSIDE NORTH AMERICA:

Lisa Warhus University of Aarhus


Product Details

  • Paperback: 200 pages
  • Publisher: SAGE Publications Ltd; 2nd edition (March 5, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1412923018
  • ISBN-13: 978-1412923019
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 6.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #217,616 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
88 of 90 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
.
Kenneth Gergen's new book, An Invitation to Social Construction (Sage 1999), may be the best introduction to the scholarship on social constructionism available today -- but, that's not all it is. It is also an inspiring and optimistic vision of what we can do to create better lives for ourselves.
To present this vision, Gergen performs the service of a personable tourguide, cutting a path through the jungle of philosophy while making suggestions for action along the way. For example, instead of merely presenting George Lakoff's theory of everyday metaphor, he points to the way Lakoff has shown us that discussions are modeled on war (p.65). Why not, Gergen suggests, find "alternative metaphors"? Why conduct conversation as war? And Gergen does not just present Derrida's deconstructionism. Instead, he says, "Let us put this argument into action" (p.27). Deconstructionism, he explains shows that any direct statement of truth disguises a mountain of ambiguity and uncertainty. So, rather than fear that uncertainty, he tells us, why not embrace it as part of our lives? It need not cripple us, because, as Wittgenstein says, we do not need metaphysical clarity to go on together. Even with our uncertainty we can cut bold and exciting paths to better lives. It is just that our new paths need to be provisional. We will need to be ready to revise them in collaboration with others -- but that is the pleasure.
I would summarize Gergen's general philosophy like this: Beware of authors who would sell you a model of any truth. Any model that presents itself as the simple truth will be deconstructed early tomorrow. However, don't let that discourage you from bold and audacious theorizing.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WARNING: This book can change how you think and see. December 18, 2001
By Dr. Z.
Format:Paperback
I've spent the last 30 years practicing and teaching psychotherapy. In that time I've read everyone from Jay Haley and Steve de Shazer to Otto Kernberg and Heinz Kohut and lots of people in between in search of helpful ideas. I came across Kenneth Gergen's writings several years ago and now I can't stop reading the guy. This book is the best introduction to social constructionism and Gergen himself I have read to date. I only wish it had been his first so I could have had this clear, broad ranging work as a starting point for reading his earlier, somewhat more challenging writings. Careful though, one book and you can get addicted.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WARNING: This book can change how you think and see. December 18, 2001
By Dr. Z.
Format:Paperback
I've spent the last 30 years practicing and teaching psychotherapy. In that time I've read everyone from Jay Haley and Steve de Shazer to Otto Kernberg and Heinz Kohut and lots of people in between in search of helpful ideas. I came across Kenneth Gergen's writings several years ago and now I can't stop reading the guy. This book is the best introduction to social constructionism and Gergen himself I have read to date. I only wish it had been his first so I could have had this clear, broad ranging work as a starting point for reading his earlier, somewhat more challenging writings. Careful though, one book, and you might get addicted.
Phillip Ziegler, co-author of Recreating Partnership: A Solution-Oriented, Collaborative Approach to Couples Therapy
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very good introduction to social construction October 5, 2013
By hjlee
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
It is very easy to understand the core of what social construction is. As a novice, I really enjoyed this reading.
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