Representing Reality: Discourse, Rhetoric and Social Construction
SAGE, 1996年8月13日 - 264 頁
`This is an admirable book which can be recommended to students with confidence, and is likely also to become an indispensable source of reference for those researching fact construction' - Discourse & Society
How is reality manufactured? The idea of social construction has become a commonplace of much social research, yet precisely what is constructed, and how, and even what constructionism means, is often unclear or taken for granted. In this major work, Jonathan Potter offers a fascinating tour of the central themes raised by these questions.
Representing Reality overviews the different traditions in constructionist thought. Points are illustrated throughout with varied and engaging examples taken from newspaper stories, relationship counselling sessions, accounts of the paranormal, social workers' assessments of violent parents, informal talk between programme makers, political arguments and everyday conversations. Ranging across the social and human sciences, this book provides a lucid introduction to several key strands of work that have overturned the way we think about facts and descriptions, including: the sociology of scientific knowledge; conversation analysis and ethnomethodology; and semiotics, post-structuralism and postmodernism.
For the moment, I will just note that it tends to obscure the interactional and
rhetorical nature of fact construction, while reifying a mental world which itself a
major element in factual discourse. In other words, people produce versions of
Stimulated by the pioneering work of Garfinkel and Sacks during the 1960s,
these perspectives offered a novel account of both social interaction and the
procedures that people use to understand the nature of their world and to display
Looked at in this way science becomes a 'hard case' against which to test an
argument about the constructed nature of facts. If you can succeed in showing
that scientific fact generation deviates from idealized models, then you expect
that fact ...
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7 Working Up Representations
8 Criticizing Facts