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