Power and Control

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Social Constructs

The idea of a social construction is a key concept in Sociology. It is used to explain many aspects of social life. The important feature of social constructionism is the idea that the same thing can be interpreted in different ways. The interpretation we place on an action or event will depend on our point of view.

An action of event is not deviant until it is defined as deviant. One person may think that men wearing skirts is deviant, whereas others may regard this as perfectly acceptable. Individuals may categorise something as deviant on the basis of their own norms and values. These values are a product of the social system - different societies will have different norms and values. What is deviant will also vary from time to time and place to place. The two keys words that apply here are


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