Ch 3: Social Construction & Power

About This Chapter

Improve your understanding of gender identity as a social construct, and look at dominant ideology, hegemony, and more with this comprehensive chapter. These lessons on social construction and power can help you get ready to ace an exam or prepare for a class project.

Social Construction & Power - Chapter Summary

By going through these lessons on social construction and power, you can enhance what you know about social construction of socioeconomic difference. You can also review definitions for hegemony and dominant ideology. After completing the chapter, you should feel confident and ready to:

  • Explain the connection between social constructionism and symbolic interactionism
  • Recall arguments concerning race and ethnicity as a social construct
  • Correlate socioeconomic status and health
  • Recount changes in gender identity throughout history
  • Discuss whether sexuality is innate or socially constructed
  • Explain how force can be used to gain power in society
  • Discuss how agency and free choice in society impacts culture
  • Recall the impact of resistance on cultural movements

Each lesson is concise but informative, and our instructors use helpful illustrations to ensure the concepts are easy to grasp. Major vocabulary words are highlighted in bold for quick reference of important topics. A brief quiz is available for each lesson to see how much you understand social construction and power.

10 Lessons in Chapter 3: Social Construction & Power
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
Social Constructionism: Definition and Theory

1. Social Constructionism: Definition and Theory

Social constructionism means that our realities are shaped through our experiences and our interactions with others. This lesson explains social constructionism and its connection to symbolic interactionism.

Social Construction of Race & Ethnicity

2. Social Construction of Race & Ethnicity

Is race biological? Is ethnicity socially constructed? In this lesson, we'll talk about contemporary theories of race and ethnicity that view these categories as social constructions and not as biological givens, as is commonly assumed.

Social Construction of Socioeconomic Difference

3. Social Construction of Socioeconomic Difference

How does socioeconomic difference influence how a person lives? This lesson will define the concept of socioeconomic status (SES), provide the characteristics of SES, and show how the metric has evolved from an individual statistic to a social one.

Gender Identity as a Social Construct

4. Gender Identity as a Social Construct

Gender is an important part of most societies, but many of us misunderstand it. In this lesson, we are going to explore gender as a social construct and see how gender identity has changed throughout history.

Social Construction of Sexuality & Sexual Orientation

5. Social Construction of Sexuality & Sexual Orientation

Are we born with our sexuality and our sexual orientation? In this lesson, we'll talk about the ways that sociologists view sexuality and sexual orientation as potentially more complicated than biological givens.

Dominant Ideology: Definition & Examples

6. Dominant Ideology: Definition & Examples

Dominant ideologies have a considerable influence on our daily lives, and they can be simple or very complicated. Through this lesson, you will learn how to define a dominant ideology and explore some theories and examples from various societies.

Hegemony: Definition & Examples

7. Hegemony: Definition & Examples

In this lesson, we will learn about hegemony and its effects. We will begin by defining the term and we will go on to study examples from throughout history and analyze the characteristics of hegemony.

Use of Force & Gaining Power in Society

8. Use of Force & Gaining Power in Society

How have groups used force in the past to gain power? This lesson discusses the use of force as a social construct, defines the term, and gives specific examples of how it has been used to gain and hold power.

Agency & Free Choice in Society

9. Agency & Free Choice in Society

Do people have the freedom to choose what they do or are they constrained by their society? This lesson looks at the idea of agency and free will, defines both terms, and then examines how society constrains a person's agency and why.

Resistance as a Social Construct of Power

10. Resistance as a Social Construct of Power

Throughout history, people have used different forms of resistance as a means of acquiring power. This lesson discusses what resistance is, how it has been used historically and provides specific examples of its use.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
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Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
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