The American Sociologist

, Volume 50, Issue 2, pp 195–203 | Cite as

Five Ways to Improve Constructionist Craft in Social Problems Inquiries: Notes from an Apprenticeship

  • Peter R. IbarraEmail author


John Kitsuse’s views about the prospects for the constructionist analysis of social problems are distilled in summary form. As a mentor to the present author, Kitsuse expressed his appreciation for the continued growth and development of the tradition of sociological analysis that that he was instrumental in developing, while also believing that the perspective had been sidetracked in ways that were reminiscent of the morass that eventually undermined what was commonly called “labeling theory,” also known as the “societal reaction” perspective on deviance. Kitsuse’s positive vision for the constructionist tradition is framed in terms of the craft that imbues this mode of analysis with its vigor and perspicacity.


John Kitsuse Social constructionism Ethnographic research Methodology 


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Criminology, Law, and JusticeUniversity of Illinois at ChicagoChicagoUSA

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