“All men (people) are born free, but everywhere they are in chains”
(Rousseau, 1998)thisdualism has puzzled some of the greatest philosophers, throughout time. How can anindividual be simultaneously enabled and constrained via society? How can the individualand the social structure effectively operate in harmony?(Layder, 2006). There are no simpleanswers to this question; however, pragmatically, we can attempt to uncover how muchinfluence this axiom has on our contemporary experience. Nevertheless, before we canaddress this paradox, we first need a perspective to put the question into context.Social constructivismMany zealous theological scholars claim the Enlightenment era instigated the currentconsolidation of religious beliefs. This has been apparently achieved via the positivistic
method, and, subsequent, „objectified truths‟ that were uncovered. However, Social
constructionists advocate that social scientists must critically evaluate the heuristic wisdombestowed by rational sciences, as this knowledge has been internalized a
s the „truth‟
viasociety. In essence, social constructionists declare that certain forms of science are a parodyof religion- as both claim categorical truths.
Anti-essentialism and anti-realism
Since the dawn of thought philosophers have been searching for meaning, a core, an essence,an objectified experience that transcends our perception. Social constructionists refute thesefutile endeavours, asserting that life is simply a process and product of social construction.There is no innate, intrinsic, inflexible essence that guides human behaviour. Their theoriesdo not cater for souls or essentialist concepts, such as, Sense of Coherence. Moreover,sciences have been lulled into imagining that they are authorities on an objectified reality,yet, social constructionists reject reality. Instead, reality is simply constructed amongstpeople- objectified truths are simply a consensus of subjective perceptions. Socialconstructionists dare to trudge on
sciences hallowed sanctuary of „objectified‟ reality.
Historical and cultural relativism
Therefore, our insights into experience are simply doctrines that are firmly submersed in ourhistorical and cultural context. Cultural specificity has become very apparent in contemporarymulticultural societies, as we begin to see how many people appear to have polarized viewsof reality. Furthermore, globalized media grants us insight, although obscure, into different