The Social Construction Series Part 6: The Social Construction of Work

Why How We Think About Our Work Matters

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In the past three years, I’ve been thinking a lot about how we view, internalize, and then perform our work.

Though many people associate work with a particular idea or vision of what work looks like, or should look like, work is a broad concept.

Because work is a broad concept, and, yep, is also socially constructed, it’s fun to ponder how the way we think about work affects how we feel and then do our work.

Right, so before we get too far into this discussion, let’s reset the definition of a social construction, shall we? Good. Here we go.

social construct

Pronunciation /ˌsəʊʃl ˈkɒnstrʌkt/

NOUN

A concept or perception of something based on the collective views developed and maintained within a society or social group; a social phenomenon or convention originating within and cultivated by society or a particular social group, as opposed to existing inherently or naturally.

Lexico

There we go. Now, let’s also define work. Here we go.

work

Pronunciation /wərk/ 

Translate work into Spanish

NOUN

Activity involving mental or physical effort done in order to achieve a purpose or result.

Lexico

Alright, here’s what we have thus far.

Work is something we do to achieve a purpose or result; and, how we define, internalize, and then view our work, like everything, is simply a subjective interpretation about something that people in a society or culture agree upon. Phew.

Alright, yet what does that really mean?

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What does the social construction of work really mean?

Well, it means that how we think about work, the prestige, or lack thereof that we assign to particular types of work is nothing more than a subjective agreement within the particular society or culture that we live in.

Why does this matter? Good question.

Because when we fully understand that work is socially constructed, we are freed to think about our work in any way we want. Our choice. Yep.

Meaning that if you are a person that is cynical about your work, you can choose to become more positive about your work.

And? Passion can follow. Fun.

You can actually even think about becoming more positive and passionate about your work as actively resisting the social construction of work where you live.

Resisting the social norms that set certain types of work as more important or needed, than others. Norms that are also socially constructed.

And?

When we are freed from limited notions of our work, we are also freed to do our work without limits. Making ourselves and our work unlimited. Pretty powerful.

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What is work?

This is an especially fun question for me, as I grew up in a household where there was always lots of work to do. Always.

Yet, there was also always a demarcation between work away from home, let’s call this “professional” work, and work at home. A distinction that was very apparent.

Workdays, as in the days that were associated with professional work, always felt different. During my childhood, these days also correspond to school days, which then created a distinction, for me anyway, that those days should also feel different. How?

Well, they were heavier in some way. Meaning, they were considered, well, work, and that was associated with something that one must do. A compulsion, if you will, which, often, didn’t feel so great.

When we create distinctions between work at home, and work away from home, and create meaning that associates one with a more meaningful experience, we set ourselves up for pain and suffering. Really.

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How many times have you gotten up for work, and hung your head, thinking, and feeling, phew, not today? I know I’ve had many of those days.

And, though those days are not part of my life today, I can still feel the heaviness of that type of thinking. Painful. And?

Well, we can create a whole new way to think about our work. Seeing our work as interconnected, one. Whether we are working in the garden on a weekend, cooking dinner in the evening, or visiting with a client, they are all you.

You are doing all of these things, taking all of these actions.

Therefore, we can release the notion that there is a distinction between work we do at home and work we do away from home.

Why How We Think About Work Matters

When we release ourselves from the aforementioned distinction, which, by the way, only exists in the language we use to create our notions of work, we create more freedom for ourselves; and, at the same time, we can reduce the stress and anxiety we feel about our work.

Releasing the distinction that some work is stressful, not as fun, plain boring, or even painful, while other work is not stressful, fun, exciting, and full of joy, also releases us from the pain that we suffer while we do our work away from the home, whatever that might be. Yep.

And, remember, how we view, internalize, and feel this created distinction about our work, may, nay, will feel completely different to someone else. Both are unnecessary.

It is an unnecessary distinction. Really.

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However, when we create work in language similarly, regardless of what work we’re engaged in, we think about, practice, and feel work the same way, no matter where we are, releasing us from the aforementioned stress, anxiety, and pain. Helpful.

Right, let’s take a look at a couple of quotes about work, shall we?

Here we go.

“Developing a good work ethic is key. Apply yourself at whatever you do, whether you’re a janitor or taking your first summer job because that work ethic will be reflected in everything you do in life.”

Tyler Perry

Positivity Blog

Yep, great.

And, it is a similar attitude that we can hold about the distinction that some work is painless and some full of pain. When we think about all of our work the same way, and approach it the same, guess what?

We end up feeling the same way about all of our work.

“Success means doing the best we can with what we have. Success is the doing, not the getting; in the trying, not the triumph. Success is a personal standard, reaching for the highest that is in us, becoming all that we can be.”
Zig Ziglar

Positivity Blog

And, we can think about releasing the distinction between work at home and work away from home similarly. When we are always reaching for and giving all that we can, regardless of the type of work we are engaged in, our work will shine in all areas of our life. And?

Those around us will shine too. It works that way.

“Start by doing what’s necessary, then what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.”
Saint Francis

Positivity Blog

Ah, yes, lovely.

When we release our previously conceived ideas about work, we also release limitations. Yep. Think about it.

When we release our limited thinking about our work, whether that is work at home or more than likely, work away from home, we also create an unlimited context for all of our work. And?

When we are unlimited, we move from that which is impossible, to the possible. Really.

It all starts with how we think about our work. When we fully understand that work is a social construct, created in language, we can create new definitions, or constructions, of our work. We set the standard. Yep.

And? Then we get to live and work in a context that sees no limitation, that feels no limitation, that is now, well, unlimited. Beautiful.

All of our work matters. Matters to each of us, and to all of those around us. Release yourself from any distinction you have about work that creates a false binary about the work you do.

All of your work is important and is further needed. Needed for you, yes, and for your family, community, country, and the greater world.

Be well. Work well.

#becominglimitless, #howwethinkaboutourwork, #releasinglimitation, #social-construction, #socialconstruct, #socialconstructionism, #thesocialconstructionofwork, #whatiswork, #work, #workathome, #workawayfromhome

The Social Construction Series Part 5: The Social Construction of Time

7 Reasons Why Understanding Time as A Social Construction is Important to Your Life

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Photo by Jeremy Thomas on Unsplash

How often do you run from here to there, and back, checking the clock on the wall, in the kitchen, on your wrist, or on your phone? Yep, normal, we all do it, or, rather, have done it.

Time is such an important part of our life. We construct our whole lives, in fact, around it. Yep. Time. When we get up, when we eat, when we work, how we work, when we sleep. All of it.

Yet, time also provides people with tons of stress and anxiety. Really. How often have you said, or heard, or both, there’s just not enough time in the day? Yep. We’ve all said it, say it, and have heard many, or, rather, most people say it.

Phew. It’s tiring. Really.

I remember a time in my life where I was more concerned about what time it was, then about what I was doing with my time. Maybe you can relate?

Either way, time is not what we think it is.

Time is actually socially constructed. Meaning, it doesn’t even really exist, except for that we create it, agree upon it, and as has been aforementioned, organize our lives around it.

A social construction, you ask? Sure. Here you go.

social construct

Pronunciation /ˌsəʊʃl ˈkɒnstrʌkt/

NOUN

A concept or perception of something based on the collective views developed and maintained within a society or social group; a social phenomenon or convention originating within and cultivated by society or a particular social group, as opposed to existing inherently or naturally.

Lexico

There we go.

Now, time, you ask? Well, I think we can all agree upon the definition of time, yet, let’s go ahead and define it anyway. Here you go.

time

Pronunciation /tīm/ /taɪm/ 

Translate time into Spanish

NOUN

The indefinite continued progress of existence and events in the past, present, and future regarded as a whole.‘travel through space and time’

1.1 The progress of time as affecting people and things.‘things were getting better as time passed’

1.2 Time or an amount of time as reckoned by a conventional standard.‘it’s eight o’clock Eastern Standard Time’

1.3 The personification of time, typically as an old man with a scythe and hourglass.‘Power began to flow out from Father Time’s scythe.’

Lexico

That’s fun.

Alright, so here’s what we have so far.

A social construction is something that is constructed and agreed upon by a group of people, of which time, as in the continued progress of existence and events as in the past, present, and future, is one. Phew.

You may now ask, well, there is a past, present, and future, therefore time exists. Yet, I would invite you to really think about that. Does the past really exist, or the future for that matter?

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Photo by Kevin Ku on Unsplash

Think about what you are doing right now. Does the past exist in the present moment? Does the future? Nope. They don’t.

The only thing that ever really exists is the present moment. Right now; and, then right now, and now. That’s it.

Therefore time is in many ways irrelevant, an illusion actually. Yet, we continue to create our whole lives around it. Pretty powerful.

You may now be saying. Okay. Fine. Yet, why is understanding time as a social construction important? Very well.

Let’s take a look at

7 Reasons Why Understanding Time as A Social Construction is Important to Your Life

1. Increased Flexibility

When we hold time as a social construct, we are more flexible because we understand that there is an infinite amount of time to do all that we’d like to do. Really.

We become more flexible as we continue to consider time as something that we can choose to release ourselves from. We know at a different level that, yes, we need to move our work and lives forward, however, we also know that there is plenty of time to do so.

2. Less Stress

As we become more flexible, holding the awareness that time is socially constructed, which takes practice, we then realize that we can release the stress that we create about time-bound situations and events. Yep.

We can release that stress, and replace it with a renewed interest in being present. Present to everything in our lives, in each and every moment. Precious.

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Photo by Motoki Tonn on Unsplash

3. Reduced Anxiety

Holding time within ourselves differently, which creates less stress, also reduces our overall anxiety levels. There are so many people on this planet that have high levels of anxiety.

Yes, about lots of things, yet, considering time as one of the most important aspects of our lives causes a ton of that stress and, yep, related anxiety.

Yet, releasing that time-bound stress, releases the anxiety. Very helpful.

4. Greater Understanding

We also learn more about ourselves, and then have a greater understanding of, yes, ourselves, and about all people. We can connect with people on another level entirely. Why?

Because, we have connected to ourselves on an entirely different level. It works that way. We become more aware of our time-bound habits, and then can see them more clearly in ourselves and in others. Helpful.

5. More Grace

As we are more aware of our own behaviors related to time, and practice releasing the stress and anxiety that develops as a product of time-bound thinking, we can give ourselves more grace. And?

We can also extend that grace to others. If there is one thing on this planet we can all us more of, it’s grace. Given to ourselves and to each other. Important.

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Photo by Miguel Bruna on Unsplash

6. Deeper Compassion

Along with granting ourselves more grace, we also develop a deeper level of compassion for the human condition. Most all of us are socialized to place importance on time.

With that knowledge, we can release ourselves from any blame or shame for the stress we’ve caused ourselves and others at the expense of time-bound thinking and acting.

And, as we deepen the compassion we have for ourselves, we also deepen the compassion we can extend toward others. Lovely.

7. More Peace

With our practice of holding time differently in our awareness, we also have more peace. More peace about all aspects of our lives that we once associated with time-bound situations and events, and the associated outcomes, or results.

And, when we have more peace, we can also extend that peace out to everyone. Phew. That is important.

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Photo by Christopher Sardegna on Unsplash

Alright, there are 7 Reasons Why Considering Time as a Social Construction is Important to Your Life. Fun.

Remember, time is only important, when we create that importance. I’m not saying that we don’t take our commitments and agreements that are time-bound seriously.

Those time-bound commitments and agreements are very important. My days are full of them; and, I mean full. All day, every day.

Yet, we don’t have to associate time-bound commitments and agreements with a stressful conception of time. It’s a paradox, like most things in life.

You can both hold time as a socially constructed illusion and as an important aspect of your life in regard to meeting our commitments and agreements.

It is really in between the two, considering ourselves as bound in time and not, where you have the power to live, laugh, and love with less stress and anxiety, and way more flexibility, understanding, grace, compassion, and peace.

Be well. Consider well.

#anxiety, #compassion, #flexibility, #grace, #humandevelopment, #peace, #philosophy, #selfimprovement, #socialconstruct, #socialconstruction, #sociology, #stress, #timeasanillusion, #timeasasocialconstruction, #understanding

A Blogger’s Diary 10/6/20: On Social Constructionism, Integrity, and A Final Note on Curiosity

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A few weeks ago I started the social construction series, which includes two entries:

  1. The Social Construction Series Part 1: 7 Reasons Why Understanding Social Constructions Is Important
  2. The Social Construction Series Part 2: 5 Reasons Why Understanding The Social Construction of Knowledge is Important

Now I’m working on a third; the social construction of reality. Yep. And, why is understanding the social construction of reality important? Hm. Power.

As we discussed in 4 Reasons Why Language Is Power, how we describe our reality in language, whether we are describing something internal or external to ourselves, is powerful. It is in essence the reality that we know.

Writing the piece on the social construction of reality is really fun; and, I hope you will all enjoy it.

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Right, so integrity. What’s the deal with integrity? Important, yes? I’ve actually read a couple of posts in the past couple of weeks that have mentioned integrity, and I am excited to add my lens to the mix this week.

I think about integrity a little differently, which simply means I conceptualize, internalize, and practice integrity in a way that pushes on the traditional notions of integrity.

It is important to investigate definitions, to push on them when needed, and to conceptualize them differently when they don’t work as intended.

The definition of reality and truth, as we will discuss in the social construction of reality is a good example of this notion, as is the post I am writing on integrity. Will be fun.

Photo by Juan Encalada on Unsplash

Alright, I also wanted to close the book, for now, on curiosity with one final note. Ready?

As we discussed in the post, Why Curiosity Didn’t Kill The Cat: 7 Reasons Why Remaining Curious Can Move You From a Fixed Mindset to a Growth Mindset, remaining curious is important to our development.

Maintaining a growth mindset, which I will also write more about in the next couple of weeks, by remaining curious means that we get to take in all of the wonder that surrounds us.

That’s important right now. Maybe more important than ever before.

Remaining curious means taking time for yourself. Taking time to be quiet, to walk by yourself, for yourself, to reflect, to question, to contemplate, and to discover.

When we take time for ourselves, we get back so much more. It is a paradox. Often people think that being continuously busy is the way to get back more, or to progress more, or to move themselves forward more.

And, being active, actively creating the life you want to manifest for yourself is important, yet, not at the expense of your own internal contemplation, reflection, and discovery time.

Example? Sure.

Yesterday, I came home from a very busy day, and immediately took a nap. Yep, been doing that more often. Feels good. Refreshing.

Watch what happens though. Ready?

Photo by Andre Hunter on Unsplash

I then got up, had a little something to eat, and started working again. And, guess what? I became frustrated? Why?

Because I had essentially gone from work, to sleep, and back to work. What did I do?

I stopped, turned out the light, and meditated for 30-minutes. And?

Inside of that meditation I had a couple of really nice insights, which then fueled the rest of my evening. Meaning that I switched from work, to writing, and developed this week’s ideas for my blog.

My invitation to you on this wonderful Tuesday evening is to remember to take time for yourself. Unplug, go for a walk, meditate, just sit. Do whatever it is that you do to refresh your inner-self.

It is in this space where curiosity and everything else in life for that matter lives; and, where you will find the answers to the questions you are asking yourself right now.

Take time for you. You deserve it.

#blogger, #bloggers-diary, #blogging, #curiosity, #integrity, #socialconstruct, #socialconstruction, #socialconstructionism, #sociology

The Social Construction Series Part 2: 5 Reasons Why Understanding The Social Construction of Knowledge is Important

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In The Social Construction Series Part 1: 7 Reasons Why Understanding Social Constructions Is Important, I write about the need to understand how the world is actually socially constructed. All of it. Important.

One of the most important social constructions to understand is how knowledge is socially constructed. Numerous books and articles have been written on this topic, from both a theoretical and practical perspective.

Here, we will explore the social construction of knowledge likewise. Both theoretically and practically. Ready? Let’s go.

Let’s first define knowledge.

knowledge

noun ˈnɒlɪdʒ/ /ˈnɑːlɪdʒ/

  1. [uncountable, singular] the information, understanding, and skills that you gain through education or
    1. experience practical/medical/scientific knowledge
    2. knowledge of/about something He [she] has a wide knowledge of painting and music.
    3. There is a lack of knowledge about the tax system.

There we go.

Now before we go onto our discussion, let’s take a look at what two prominent philosophers had to say about knowledge, Jurgen Habermas, and Michel Foucault.

Habermas’s Perspective

“Habermas argues that domination is an obstacle in the pursuit of true knowledge” (Anttonen, Saila. 1999).

University of Leeds

Foucault’s Perspective

“Foucault, however, argues that all knowledge is constituted and socially constructed under conditions of power” (Anttonen, Saila. 1999).

University of Leeds

And, what prey tell, do both of these philosophers consider an obstacle to knowledge for some, and a boon for others? Power.

Let’s now consider the social construction of knowledge.

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How is Knowledge Constructed?

Knowledge is continually produced, internalized, and practiced, or acted upon. Though not always in this order. Sometimes intellectual knowledge precedes practical knowledge, and sometimes practical knowledge precedes intellectual knowledge. Depends.

Think about a time when you learned something through doing. For instance, learning how to drive a car. You can possess the intellectual knowledge about how to drive a car, yet until you actually drive a car, you don’t possess the knowledge necessary to drive a car.

You need both. And, in fact, some would argue, as would I, that practical knowledge outweighs intellectual knowledge. For it is in the doing, or practice, that we learn the most.

We accumulate the real knowledge about something when we do it.

Conversely, however, you can ask me to create a presentation on the social construction of knowledge, yet unless I possess the intellectual knowledge about the social construction of knowledge, I will be unable to create that presentation, try as I might.

Therefore, knowledge is constructed two ways. Through our intellect and through practice. Both.

Who Constructs Knowledge?

Everyone constructs knowledge. From a young child to an older adult, knowledge is continuously produced, internalized, and practiced. Knowledge is all around us. Everywhere.

Think about an interaction you’ve had recently where you learned something new, or taught someone something new. That is knowledge production.

Knowledge is produced, internalized, and practiced continuously, all day, every day.

Yet, there is some knowledge that is considered more illusive, more special, or maybe the more appropriate term is specialized. You typically go to University, College, or Trade School to learn about these types of specialized knowledge.

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Who Constructs Specialized Knowledge

Simple answer, experts. Yet, what does that really mean? Ah, good question. Someone is considered an expert when they have attained a reasonable amount of intellectual and or practical knowledge about a particular subject or topic. Simple. Why does this matter?

Because the humans that have constructed this knowledge, are just that, human. Meaning that they are like you, like me, and like everyone else. Full of strengths and weaknesses. Both

People often get caught up in the term, expert, thinking that because someone has a degree or certification in one specialized area or another, that they should know what is best for us, or know the best path to take in a certain area of our lives.

Yet, because experts are also human means that they are not infallible. Important. Additionally, because we know that the world and all knowledge within it is socially constructed, we also know that there are many, many ways to understand a subject or topic. Many ways. Not one.

Further, not all knowledge about a particular subject or topic has yet been discovered. Meaning that there is always something more to learn. Always.

Here is what Socrates said about knowledge.

“At the trial, Socrates says, “The only true wisdom consists in knowing that you know nothing.” Socrates put emphasis on knowledge all his life because he believed that “the ability to distinguish between right and wrong lies in people’s reason not in society.”

The Independent

Ah, wonderful. According to Socrates, then, it is up to the individual, each one of us, to distinguish between right and wrong. And that includes distinguishing between the right and wrong of what someone is telling us is true about our bodies, families, community, and the greater world.

Of course, that does not mean that we don’t need assistance from others, and access to the knowledge we need to make informed decisions and choices. Quite the contrary. More assistance and access is needed.

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How is Knowledge Disseminated?

Knowledge is disseminated in many different ways. We’ve covered some of them already, such as through Universities, Colleges,and Trade Schools. Yet, knowledge is also produced, internalized, and practiced in many other social contexts, which are typically referred to as social institutions.

Before we go further, let’s define the term social institution.

“Typically, contemporary sociologists use the term to refer to complex social forms that reproduce themselves such as governments, the family, human languages, universities, hospitals, business corporations, and legal systems. A typical definition is that proffered by Jonathan Turner (1997: 6): “a complex of positions, roles, norms and values lodged in particular types of social structures and organising relatively stable patterns of human activity with respect to fundamental problems in producing life-sustaining resources, in reproducing individuals, and in sustaining viable societal structures within a given environment.”

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Ah, helpful. Thus far, we’ve covered the social construction of knowledge within University, College, and Trade Schools, yet as you can read above, there are many social institutions that socially construct knowledge.

The issue? Same as with the socially constructed knowledge that Universities, College’s, and Trade Schools produce. When we internalize a socially constructed view of the world, and our place in it, we are receiving knowledge that has been produced within a very particular framework.

And, those frameworks include within them people that have biases, just like you and I. Yep. We can deny we have biases, yet we all have them. They are part of socialization.

All socialization, which just means the how, what, why, when, and where of all that you learned as a child, youth, and young adult has within it bias. It has to. It’s one way of viewing the world. Yet, it’s not the only way.

Now, choose any social institution you like, and we can discuss the problems inherent with the production, internalization, and then the eventual reproduction of that knowledge through practice, or action. What problems, you ask? Good question.

One of the largest problems, or issues, we have just discussed. Because we know that knowledge is socially constructed, and we know that all social institutions have within them a particular worldview (or bias) this knowledge then, which is often told as truth, is not truth.

This knowledge is, rather, a subjective interpretation of life and the world through one lens, or viewpoint.

However, when we internalize this socially constructed knowledge as truth, we limit ourselves. We limit that which we can really know about the world and life. If we are conscious of this fact, and continue to choose a limited framework, very well.

However, most people are unaware, so do not actively choose. They subscribe to a particular set of knowledge constructs because they were socialized to do so. Many people live their entire lives this way.

Hm. What to do? Before we get to that question, let’s take a look at obstacles to the acquisition of knowledge. Important.

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What are the obstacles to the acquisition of knowledge?

As we’ve discussed, Habermas and Foucault would both argue that power is an obstacle to the acquisition of knowledge. Meaning that with more power comes more knowledge. Or, maybe, it’s that with more knowledge comes more power?

Actually power and knowledge have a reciprocal relationship. Meaning that with more knowledge, you do have more power. Likewise, with more power, you have more access to knowledge. Truth.

And, then?

Well, those with power construct more knowledge, especially of the specialized kind. And, as we’ve discussed, accessing such knowledge is inaccessible for many people.

Therefore understanding how knowledge is socially constructed is important for everyone. Why?

5 Reasons Why Understanding The Social Construction of Knowledge is Important

1. Know matter how much you know intellectually, you must practice it

Practicing our intellectual knowledge is necessary to develop ourselves. When we learn something, and internalize it, the cycle of knowledge production is not complete.

We must practice that knowledge to really know it.

Once practiced, we know it through our entire selves, which is a very different experience than simply having intellectual knowledge about a subject or topic.

2. You can do something with that which you know, or are knowledgeable about

Knowing that knowledge is socially constructed, and that you are an active participant in constructing knowledge creates an opportunity for you to practice distributing your particular knowledge to others.

You are the only one that can educate someone on that which you know, just as you know it.

And, when you give out that which you are knowledgeable about, you will get back that which someone else is knowledgeable about. Meaning, that you will now have acquired more knowledge by giving someone your knowledge. Reciprocal learning.

3. Specialized knowledge is an interpretation, so question it

When we know that all knowledge is socially constructed, we know that questioning all that we learn is necessary and needed. We must question what experts tell us is true about our bodies, families, community, and the greater world.

When we begin to question other people’s truths, we create a space to develop ourselves more. Why?

Because we have created a space to learn more from the expert. Simple. When we don’t take expert knowledge at face value, we create a space to learn more about the subject or topic. Keep questioning.

4. Because bias is inherent in all socially constructed knowledge, be wary of limitation

When we accept knowledge as true, which is given to us by a social institution we limit ourselves. We limit what is knowable.

However, as was aforementioned, when we question that knowledge, we create the opportunity to learn more, and develop more. We don’t accept one worldview or interpretation of the world, which is limiting.

We know knowledge is socially constructed, so we question. We question the knowledge. We become unlimited.

5. Search for knowledge everywhere, both intellectually, and in practice

When we know that knowledge precedes and follows power, we can intentionally create opportunities to learn more. Acquiring more knowledge, both intellectually and practically, moves us forward as human beings.

When we internalize and practice what we learn, we also create an opportunity to produce something out of this knowledge. Of which this article is an example.

And, when we practice that which we know, we have more power as a human being.

In Closing: Question Everything

My final thoughts on the social construction of knowledge is to question everything. Really.

Question the knowledge you now have. Question the knowledge people communicate to you. Question all of it. Powerful.

We choose to accept the knowledge that we have, as well as the knowledge that is communicated to us as true. However, when we know that the world is socially constructed, and that all knowledge is likewise socially constructed, we create an opportunity to question these truths.

Both the ones we’ve considered as truth for most of our lives, and other people’s truths.

We also create a developmental opportunity for ourselves, and as we have discussed, for everyone that we know. We move ourselves from a limited framework to an unlimited one.

Remember, on any subject or topic, there is more to learn. Always. Because we know this to be true, there is always an opportunity to share your knowledge with someone, and for them to share their knowledge with you.

That which you know is powerful. That which you can learn about is powerful.

Knowledge that is produced, internalized, and practiced is socially constructed by you, by me, by experts, by every human being. Thus, question it, question all of it.

Definition of knowledge taken from Oxford Learner’s Dictionaries.

#bias, #creatingknowledge, #development, #developmentandgrowth, #education, #foucaultandknowledgeandpower, #habermasandknowledgeandpower, #humandevelopment, #internalizedknowledge, #jurgenhabermas, #knoweldgeproduction, #knowledgedissemintation, #knowledgeproduction, #michelfoucault, #power, #practicalknolwedge, #psychology, #selfdevelopment, #socialconstruct, #socialconstruction, #socialconstructionism, #socialinstitutions, #sociology, #socratesandknowledge, #specializedknowledge, #thefamily, #theroreticalknowledge, #worldview

A Blogger’s Diary 9/3/20: On the Need for Adequate Sleep and Other Meanderings

Photo by Cassandra Hamer on Unsplash

I feel like each week I write the words, phew, what a busy week. Well, this week was no different than the previous. Phew, busy, busy, busy.

Open registration began this past week, and our enrollments are up from the past two terms, which is exciting. As I’ve written about in previous posts, COVID-19 has made creating and delivering experiential classes, workshops, and training, precarious.

Yet, we’ve persisted, and not resisted; and have over 150 remote classes on offer this fall term. Pretty cool.

This past week, I’ve been reflecting upon the need for adequate sleep. Yes, sleep. Really. I’ve spent the past 20 years being a, well, not very good sleeper. Yet, I’m getting better.

And, adequate sleep is needed more now than ever. More than ever.

How do you sleep?

One insight into sleeping adequately I’ve had the past two weeks is this: when you’re sleepy, sleep. Often, I think we resist. I did, for many years. Not helpful. Sleep when you are tired.

Photo by Tony Tran on Unsplash

Last Saturday, I opened up my medium account, and an article of mine had been curated. 100 submissions, and a first curation. Pretty cool.

In The Social Construction Series Part 1: 7 Reasons Why Understanding Social Constructions Is Important, I write about how important it is to understand that the whole world, and everything in it is a social construction. All of it.

Then, I got a message that curious, which is a subsidiary of medium wanted to publish it. Exciting. Of course you can find the article on my site, or you can check it out on curious.

I am now working on the social construction of knowledge. Fun. I will have it completed sometime this weekend.

Alright, that’s it for this submission.

Remember, sleep when you are tired. Really. When we resist, which I did for a long time, it does not help. In fact, it makes us more tired, less productive, and easily agitated.

Here are a couple quotes I like on sleep.

“The minute anyone’s getting anxious I say, you must eat and you must sleep. They’re the two vital elements for a healthy life.” Francesca Annis

Awaken the Greatness Within

“Sleep is the best meditation.” Dalai Lama

Awaken the Greatness Within

Be well. Sleep well.

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The Social Construction Series Part 1: 7 Reasons Why Understanding Social Constructions Is Important

Photo by Jon Moore on Unsplash

Have you ever heard of the phrase a social construction? Maybe? Well, I hadn’t heard of it until I went back to school in my early 30’s. I was in a class on gender, and the professor said something like, gender is socially constructed.

At first, I was like, wait, what? I had no idea what the professor was talking about. Nope, not at all. As the professor continued to explain the concept, I almost fell out of my chair. Seriously. I was so baffled, confused, and interested, all at the same time.

I grew up in a family where ideas like social constructs were unavailable. Not a judgment, just reality. And, it’s okay. There are many, many families across this country that don’t have access to these kinds of ideas, and knowledge. Part of my passion and mission. Dissemination. Here we go.

Let’s define social constructionism.

“Social constructionism is a general term sometimes applied to theories that emphasize the socially created nature of social life. Of course, in one sense all sociologists would argue this, so the term can easily become devoid of meaning. More specifically, however, the emphasis on social constructionism is usually traced back at least to the work of William Isaac Thomas and the Chicago sociologists, as well as the phenomenological sociologists and philosophers such as Alfred Schutz. Such approaches emphasize the idea that society is actively and creatively produced by human beings. They portray the world as made or invented—rather than merely given or taken for granted. Social worlds are interpretive nets woven by individuals and groups.

Oxford Reference

Alright, so the basic idea is that all of life, all if it, is socially constructed. Meaning, simply, that all that we know is created again and again by people. These creations are then shared between and within groups. Shared meaning is derived from these created social constructs, or concepts. What concepts you ask?

Tree. Sun. Love. Life. Health.

Photo by Miha Rekar on Unsplash

All things we see and know. They are all socially constructed. Sometimes groups share and agree on their meaning across cultures, sometimes there are variations specific to particular cultures or geographies.

Why does it matter?

Because if everything we see and know is socially constructed, then all that we argue about, disagree about, and sometimes fight about is based upon ideas and ideals that are created. Created by people.

Understanding that the world is socially constructed is very important.

Important to individuals and how they internalize and understand their place in the world; and, it is also important to how groups understand their relation to each other.

When we know that everything is socially constructed, we have freedom from ideas and concepts, because we know they are not naturally occurring.

You may say, well, love is love and I know what that is, and how it feels to be in love. Yes. And, I am saying that love, even though you feel it, and know it, is still a concept. It is a concept associated with a particular way of being and feeling.

Photo by Tyler Nix on Unsplash

And, guess what? Naturally occurring, or biological concepts, are also social constructions. Tree. Yep. Biological, right? Yet, a tree is still a concept. Believe me. There was a time when a tree was not called a tree. A tree is a concept.

Alright, let’s look at 7 reasons why understanding social constructions is important.

  1. Gives us freedom from concepts.
  2. Creates access to new knowledge and power.
  3. Provides us a new perspective on how the world occurs.
  4. Empowers us to understand why we internalize concepts as real, even when they are not.
  5. Helps us understand each other on a deeper level.
  6. Assists groups in understanding each other; either how they relate, or how they differ.
  7. Creates an important distinction about language. How we use it, and how it affects how we see and experience ourselves, each other, and the world.

How can you use this information?

Question everything. Important. Here is a quote about questioning that I love.

“We awaken by asking the right questions. We awaken when we see knowledge being spread that goes against our own personal experiences. We awaken when we see popular opinion being wrong but accepted as being right, and what is right being pushed as being wrong. We awaken by seeking answers in corners that are not popular. And we awaken by turning on the light inside when everything outside feels dark.”  -Suzy Kassem

Awaken the Greatness Within

You can find quote after quote online about asking questions. Really. Asking questions is that important. Questioning that which others take for granted as real, or right, or wrong, gives you an immediate advantage. How?

Because most people won’t ask. They believe in what they see, hear, feel, and think they know. Why? It’s easier. More comfortable. Not a judgment. It’s okay not to question.

However, when we ask our questions, and actively participate in the contexts we are living in, we get back much more. Much, much more.

My invitation to you is to ask questions. You know, the ones that you’ve been holding onto for years. You know they’re there. And, it’s okay. It’s even okay to hold onto them, if you want to. However, it is way more fun to ask them. Way more. 🙂

Alright, that concludes the first part of the social construction series. Next time? Funny you should ask. I’ve already come up with it.

The social construction of knowledge. Will be fun.

Until then, question.

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