ERIC Number: ED459402
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2001-Aug-24
Agency, Constructivism, and Social Constructionism: Evolution or Revolution?
Wandrei, Mary L.
Human agency, the ability to organize and direct one's own behavior, has recently been considered, reconsidered, and even abandoned by many psychological perspectives. This paper provides a discussion on the idea that an intelligible concept of agency can be articulated by revolutionizing the perspective on the relation of the individual person to the social world, and by refurbishing the concept of individual agency while preserving what is essentially useful about it. It also discusses some projects generated by this approach in order to demonstrate the generative value of it. It suggests that humanists avoid an antagonistic stand and instead, revolutionize the concept and place of agency as engaging and cooperating with social constructs and resources. Humanists would thereby open their theories up to the extensive resources and contributions that a considered integration of the "social" construction of action and meaning (often presented as the "opposite" of agency) can bring to humanistic theories of human action and experience. (Contains 14 references.) (JDM)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Psychological Association (109th, San Francisco, CA, August 24-28, 2001).