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Categories We Live ByThe Construction of Sex, Gender, Race, and Other Social Categories$
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Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190256791

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190256791.001.0001

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Social Construction as Social Significance

Social Construction as Social Significance

(p.34) Chapter 2 Social Construction as Social Significance
Categories We Live By


Oxford University Press

Various ways in which a category of people can be said to be socially constructed is discussed before a conception of social construction that can underwrite the project of offering a metaphysics of social categories is offered. The author discusses several conceptions of causal social construction, including where the social is the cause and the effect, and where ideals or norms play a role in the construction. The type of social construction needed for the project of giving a metaphysics of social construction is constitutive social construction. The author offers her conception of constitutive social construction, the key component of which is an account of social meaning. Comparison with the accounts of social construction by Ian Hacking, Ron Mallon, and Sally Haslanger is made.

Keywords:   social construction, Ian Hacking, Ron Mallon, Sally Haslanger, causal construction, constitutive construction

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