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Discuss the Role of Language in Relation to the Construction of Social Reality When it Comes to Human Sexuality - Essay Example

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Discuss the role of language in relation to the construction of social reality when it comes to human sexuality. It will appear reasonable to state that the sociological study about human sexuality has been ruled upon or dominated over the past twenty years by many social constructionist and the postmodernist perspectives…
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Discuss the Role of Language in Relation to the Construction of Social Reality When it Comes to Human Sexuality
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Download file to see previous pages Among the researchers of present day time, few debates are found to be more intense than the debate between essentialism on one hand and social constructionism on the other side. Despite of it, it is often found that these two terms remain undefined or are ill defined. Going by the view of classical essentialism, there are many fundamental real meanings or forms. There is also a lack of continuity between the different forms rather than a continuous variation. These true forms remain constant over time. Modern essentialism is made of a belief which states that there are certain phenomena which are natural, inevitable, and which can be biologically determined. We hence, consider subjects like sociobiology, evolutionary psychology, genetic research, brain research, and endocrine research as some examples for the essentialist approach by focusing particularly about how these approaches of research view and treat sexual orientation as well as attraction. Social constructionism, on the other hand, consists of the belief that reality can be socially constructed and it emphasizes language as a vital means by which we can interpret experiences (DeLamater & Hude, 1998, p.10).  Essentialism defined The idea about essentialism was found to originate in the works of Plato dated 428-348 B.C (DeLamater & Hude, 1998, p.10). He suggested that, for example, in a triangle which consists of three sides, no matter of what length of its sides or the combination of its angles were, it would always form a triangle and thus it was discontinuously different from other figures like a circle or a rectangle.  Essentialism was considered to be the philosophical foundation for any positivism in philosophy which was followed up to the twentieth century. Interestingly, it was seen that the term essentialism was generally used by people who were opposed to it, not by those who used to practice it. Essentialism thus had dominated both philosophical and the scientific thought in the Western world. We would thus refer to the above stated form of essentialism as classical essentialism (DeLamater & Hude, 1998, p.10). Social Constructionism defined The term known as social constructionism has found broad usage in the discipline of social sciences. It is often used frequently by psychologists (Burr, 2003, p.2). It is often used generally to refer to any aspect of social influence on an individual experience. However, it can be used more appropriately to indicate a more specific theoretical paradigm. The fundamental assumption underlying the paradigm is that reality is constructed socially (Berger & Luckmann, 1966, p. 1). This paradigm has its origin in the philosophy related with human experience. According to the The Constructionist Paradigm,  language can provide the basis by which we make understanding or sense of the world. Language provides human beings with the categories and the typifications that are needed to classify events and the persons and to place them in order. Language provides the tool by which it becomes possible to interpret new experiences (DeLamater & Hude, 1998, p.13). Language or a discourse is absolutely prior to and constitutive to the world. Language provides mankind with the categories that they use to interpret or make sense and meaningful internal ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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