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Resisting RealitySocial Construction and Social Critique$
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Sally Haslanger

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199892631

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199892631.001.0001

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Social Construction

Social Construction

The “Debunking” Project

(p.113) 3 Social Construction
Resisting Reality

Sally Haslanger

Oxford University Press

In his book The Social Construction of What?, Ian Hacking offers a schema for understanding different social constructionist claims along with a framework for distinguishing kinds or degrees of constructionist projects. Hacking's efforts are useful, but his account leaves many of the philosophical aspects of social construction projects obscure, as are the connections, if any, with more mainstream analytic philosophy projects. This chapter aims to argue that although Hacking's approach to social construction is apt for some of those working on such projects, it does not adequately capture what's at issue for an important range of social constructionists, particularly many of us working on gender and race. Moreover, a different way of understanding social construction reveals interesting connections and conflicts with mainstream analytic projects.

Keywords:   social construction, debunking, Ian Hacking, social realism, critical realism, gender, widowhood, object construction, idea construction, feminism

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