© 1985

The Social Construction of the Person

  • Kenneth J. Gergen
  • Keith E. Davis

Part of the Springer Series in Social Psychology book series (SSSOC)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xii
  2. Introduction to the Domain

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Peter G. Ossorio
      Pages 19-40
    3. Richard A. Shweder, Joan G. Miller
      Pages 41-69
  3. The Structure of Intelligibility

  4. Social Process in Person Construction

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 165-165
    2. Maury Silver, John Sabini
      Pages 191-201
    3. Vernon E. Cronen, W. Barnett Pearce, Karl Tomm
      Pages 203-224
    4. John Kirkpatrick
      Pages 225-240
    5. Wendy McKenna, Suzanne Kessler
      Pages 241-257
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 265-276

About this book


This volume grew out of a discussion between the editors at the Society for Experimental Social Psychology meeting in Nashville in 1981. For many years the Society has played a leading role in encouraging rigorous and sophisticated research. Yet, our discussion that day was occupied with what seemed a major problem with this fmely honed tradition; namely, it was preoccupied with "accurate renderings of reality," while generally insensitive to the process by which such renderings are achieved. This tradition presumed that there were "brute facts" to be discovered about human interaction, with little consideration of the social processes through which "factuality" is established. To what degree are accounts of persons constrained by the social process of rendering as opposed to the features of those under scrutiny? This concern with the social process by which persons are constructed was hardly ours alone. In fact, within recent years such concerns have been voiced with steadily increasing clarity across a variety of disciplines. Ethno­ methodologists were among the first in the social sciences to puncture the taken-for-granted realities of life. Many sociologists of science have also turned their attention to the way social organizations of scientists create the facts necessary to sustain these organizations. Historians of science have entered a similar enterprise in elucidating the social, economic and ideological conditions enabling certain formulations to flourish in the sciences while others are suppressed. Many social anthropologists have also been intrigued by cross-cultural variations in the concept of the human being.


Emotion Nation Presse character cognition interaction life satisfaction nature psychology sexuality social psychology

Editors and affiliations

  • Kenneth J. Gergen
    • 1
  • Keith E. Davis
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychologySwarthmore CollegeSwarthmoreUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of South CarolinaColumbiaUSA

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title The Social Construction of the Person
  • Editors K.J. Gergen
    K.E. Davis
  • Series Title Springer Series in Social Psychology
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer-Verlag New York 1985
  • Publisher Name Springer, New York, NY
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-0-387-96091-3
  • Softcover ISBN 978-1-4612-9553-2
  • eBook ISBN 978-1-4612-5076-0
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages , 276
  • Number of Illustrations 0 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Personality and Social Psychology
    Sociology, general
  • Buy this book on publisher's site