Social Constructionist View of Adolescence: History, Theory, and Culture in Adolescence Views on 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
ISBN (Electronic)9781119171492
ISBN (Print)9781119161899
Publication statusPublished - 20 Dec 2019

User-Defined Keywords

  • adolescence
  • social constructionism
  • social constructivism
  • teenagers


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