Limited = Limiting Reading of Social Constructionism: A Reply to Carl Ratner's "Epistemological, Social, and Political Conundrums in Social Constructionism"


  • Pascal Dey



social constructionism, conjuring trick, hyperreality, metonymy, ethos of reading, author/discipline-less production, inheriting


RATNER's "Epistemological, Social, and Political Conundrums in Social Constructionism" provides ample illustration of how a grossly negligent, read both limited and limiting, exegesis of social constructionism has the demonstrable effect of installing the impression of the subject matter forming a homogeneous unity and an utmost negative one at that. The present commentary will show that the irony of RATNER's article is not that it has gotten social constructionism completely wrong but that it conceals that he himself is a (hyperreal) constructionist and that his account might be used for pinpointing how the construction of (hyper)reality works in textual practice. To rebut RATNER's assertion that social constructionist theorizing engenders a relativistic worldview of "everything goes" on the basis of his own account, it will be shown that though his truth is (partly) random, temporary and thus alterable it does have real implications (both existent and potential) for those referring to it, in either positive or negative terms. The commentary will close with tentative suggestions for an ethos of reading that seeks to cultivate a sensitivity towards the singular spirit of social constructionist writings as well as the necessity of creative inheriting and hence invention. URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs0801474


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Author Biography

Pascal Dey

For the past five years, Dr. Pascal DEY used to work as a research assistant at the Research Institute for Organizational Psychology, University of St. Gallen, Switzerland. Today he likes to see himself as a free lancer who uses the liberty derived from not being bondaged (which is the etymological meaning of "free") to throw his light spear (read lance) at whatever catches his attention and interest.




How to Cite

Dey, P. (2008). Limited = Limiting Reading of Social Constructionism: A Reply to Carl Ratner’s "Epistemological, Social, and Political Conundrums in Social Constructionism". Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 9(1).