Social constructs are looked at very differently around the world. It is a theory of knowledge that changes the way society understands certain things in the world. Reality is not an objective thing that is imposed upon us, but is created by us. Individuals choose their language, customs and values. Race and sex are given to you in nature of being born but you choose to follow the path you are taught. In some cultures you will practice all the traditions that you are supposed to but others will forget about their culture and just try to blend in with everyone else. Many people will follow what others do to fit in because this world is strongly judges individuals especially if you’re different. In this essay I will go over three sources that explains some of the social constructs in the world.
In the first source it has given an example of some different social constructs such as language, customs, values and laws. Reality does not exist externally but internally, as each individual or group interprets it, and is always changing. Depending on which group of people you are looking at everyone has different beliefs which include customs, values and laws. Customs are a patterned way of behaviour that is considered characteristics of life in society. Some examples are as simple as shaking hands, bowing and kissing. These are ways of greeting people that help distinguish one society from another. Values are characteristics such as honesty, commitment, loyalty, open-mindedness and reliability. Language is what you choose, if you feel like learning another language you have many ways to access that and learn on your own but there are certain countries you go to that have their own first language.
In Ethiopia there was evidence from 1896 of woman wearing lip discs which was a procedure of knocking out the bottom two teeth and stretching your lip. It was usually done around the age of 15-18 with intentions of attracting a husband. This is a social construct because it was a theory that was made up and followed by woman to “fit in”. Woman would compete to display the largest disc which would be a belief and value for their culture.
There are multiple fashions that are in style from girls getting their eyelashes done to what they wear. These are ways girls feel beautiful about themselves. Men just follow the style of their group of friends and don’t care about others opinions. On the other hand, girls do everything that is in style to feel like they fit in. In this source it talks about a tongue piercing being a new trend which is very popular. In the Aztec culture it used to be used as a way to show honor towards the Gods by inflicting pain. Social norms are unwritten rules on how to behave that provide us with an expectation on how to act in society.
I can relate to all three sources because I have my own beliefs, values and social norms. I do like to do everything to fit in with society and I don’t like feeling left out which is just how society has changed. People are afraid to be different and being left out and that is why a lot of this generation does everything the same from clothing to sports. In conclusion a social construct is something that people follow to feel like they are a part of society and it is an imaginary theory that individuals have made up to follow as a normal behaviour.