Social Constructionist View of Adolescence

Research output: Chapter in book/report/conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Focusing on the social construction of reality or knowledge, the social constructionist perspective exhibits characteristic features, including the critical role played by language; the social process involved in reality construction; the different levels of meaning making; individuals' agency; the co-construction of social reality; power and knowledge construction; a pragmatic orientation to knowledge; and a preference for qualitative research. Social constructionism challenged the dominance of positivism in knowledge production. In relation to adolescence, social constructionist studies have examined how adolescence as a social category is constructed and how adolescents themselves form their identities and understand the social world. The perspective questions dominant discourses such as the developmental and peer group influence discourses; deepens our understanding of family dynamics and the various social discourses within which meaning making takes place; exposes the discursive power in disciplining different teenager groups; unravels the different meanings and identities that adolescents hold; and promotes their agency.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Encyclopedia of Child and Adolescent Development
EditorsStephen Hupp, Jeremy D. Jewell
VolumeHistory, Theory, and Culture in Adolescence
ISBN (Electronic)9781119171492
ISBN (Print)9781119161899
Publication statusPublished - 20 Dec 2019

User-Defined Keywords

  • adolescence
  • social constructionism
  • social constructivism
  • teenagers


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