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A discourse analysis of “social construction” in communication scholarship

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journal contribution
posted on 01.08.2016 by Jessica Robles
How has the phrase “social construction” been used among communication scholars over the past 45 years? This paper characterizes some of the ways in which “social construction” as an idea has been taken up in communication scholarship. In particular, the paper considers what is useful and what is problematic in the different ways social construction is used. First, this paper presents trends in usage, particularly from the early 1990s onward, in several top communication journals. Second, ways of using the concept are analyzed in published articles. Third, discourse about social construction and uses of the phrase are examined in three state-of-the art fora in light of the tensions and questions of doing social construction research. Finally, practical implications for the continuing usefulness of the term are considered.



  • Social Sciences


  • Communication, Media, Social and Policy Studies

Published in

The Electronic Journal of Communication


ROBLES, J., 2012. A discourse analysis of 'social construction' in communication scholarship. Electronic Journal of Communication, 22(3/4).


© Communication Institute for Online Scholarship


AM (Accepted Manuscript)

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This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

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This article was published in the Electronic Journal of Communication. Articles published in EJC/REC (ISSN 1183-5656) are protected by copyright (c) by the Communication Institute for Online Scholarship. Articles may be reproduced, with acknowledgment, for non-profit personal and scholarly purposes. Permission must be obtained for commercial use or for distribution to other individuals. The definitive version is available at: http://www.cios.org/EJCPUBLIC/022/3/022342.html