|“||To say of something that it is socially constructed is to emphasize its dependence on contingent aspects of our social selves. It is to say: This thing could not have existed had we not built it; and we need not have built it at all, at least not in its present form. Had we been a different kind of society, had we had different needs, values, or interests, we might well have built a different kind of thing, or built this one differently. The inevitable contrast is with a naturally existing object, something that exists independently of us and which we did not have a hand in shaping.||”|
—Paul A. Boghossian
A social construct (or social construction) is a product of society. It is a phenomenon that would not occur without a society in which to exist in and be propagated by. Examples include the legal system, religion, race, and gender.
A concept having a status as a social construction does not mean it is not real. It merely means it exists only at the social level of analysis.
- What is Social Construction?, by Laura Flores
- "... You're saying humans need... fantasies to make life bearable. ..." from Hogfather by Terry Pratchett
- See the Wikipedia article on Social construct.