What Is Communicative Constructivism?

Saturday, 21 July 2018: 09:15
Oral Presentation
Hubert KNOBLAUCH, Technical University of Berlin, Germany
In the last decades, a new sociological approach has been emerging mostly in Continental Europe which came to be called communicative constructivism. It is mainly based on empirical studies in sociology, communication, and other social sciences studies. Although they are inspired by the “Social Construction of Reality”, they avoid the presumed “cognitivism”, “subjectivism” and “relativism” as ascribed to Social Constructivism” by postconstructivists. In this presentation I will sketch the basic theoretical frame of the emerging theory of the communicative construction of reality. Correcting some of the problems of the Social Constructivism raised by its critiques, it is based on a notion of communicative action as suggested by Habermas, yet avoiding his idealist bias. After sketching some of the most basic categories of communicative action, such as reciprocity, performativity and relationality, it the paper turns to the question how the approach can address the notion of knowledge. In the conclusion it indicates the relevance of these social theoretical notions in order to understand the move from what has been called the “Knowledge Society” to the “Communication Society”.