chapter  6
24 Pages

Objective Reality, Male Reality, and Social Construction

There is a broad consensus in this research that the reason the previous mod­ els of justice, knowledge, and reality have gone so wrong is that they ignore the force of social construction; and yet there is striking diversity in how the term “social construction” (and its cognates) is used, and consequently diversity in what revisions to the old models are proposed. In addition to the claims that race, gender, and sexuality are socially constructed, it is also claimed, for exam­ ple, that the “subject,” “identity,” “knowledge,” “truth,” “nature,” and “reality” are each socially constructed.1 On occasion it is possible to find the claim that “everything” is socially constructed, or that it is socially constructed “all the way down.”2 But once we come to the claim that everything is socially constructed, it appears a short step to the conclusion that there is no reality independent of our practices or of our language, and that “truth” and “reality” are only fictions employed by the dominant to mask their power.3