In the fields of sociology, social ontology, and communication theory, social constructionism proposes that certain ideas about physical reality arise from collaborative consensus, instead of the pure observation of said physical reality. The theory of social constructionism proposes that people collectively develop the meanings (denotations and connotations) of social constructs. Social constructionism has been characterised as neo-Marxian theory and as a neo-Kantian theory, proposing that social constructionism replaces the transcendental subject with a societal concept that is descriptive and normative.
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While some social constructs are obvious, for instance money or the concept of currency, in that people have agreed to give it importance/value, others are controversial and hotly debated, such as the concept of self/self-identity. This articulates the view that people in society construct ideas or concepts that may not exist without the existence of people or language to validate those concepts.
There is weak and strong social constructionism. Weak social constructionism relies on brute facts – facts that are not socially constructed, such as, arguably, facts about physical particles – or institutional facts (which are formed from social conventions). It has been objected that strong social constructionism undermines the foundation of science as the pursuit of objectivity, and as a theory defies any attempt at falsifying it.