Apply to USF Now | Graduate Admissions | Events & Workshops | Giving to the Office of Graduate Studies

Graduate Course Proposal Form Submission Detail - SPC6213

Edit function not enabled for this course.

Current Status: Approved, Permanent Archive - 2004-03-18
Submission Type:
Course Change Information (for course changes only):

  1. Department and Contact Information

    Tracking Number Date & Time Submitted
    2010 2003-10-27
    Department College Budget Account Number
    Communication AS 1217000
    Contact Person Phone Email
    Gil Rodman 9743025

  2. Course Information

    Prefix Number Full Title
    SPC 6213 Social Construction of Reality

    Is the course title variable? N
    Is a permit required for registration? N
    Are the credit hours variable? N
    Is this course repeatable?
    If repeatable, how many times? 0

    Credit Hours Section Type Grading Option
    3 D - Discussion (Primarily) R - Regular
    Abbreviated Title (30 characters maximum)
    Social Construction of Reality
    Course Online? Percentage Online


    Graduate Standing


    Course Description

    Evolution of the concept of social construction; emphasizes the consequences of understanding lived experiences and discursive representations as social constructions. Topics include depression, child abuse, masculinity/femininity, and sexual harassment.

  3. Justification

    A. Please briefly explain why it is necessary and/or desirable to add this course.

    The course has been offered as a topics course on four occasions and is now part of the regular course rotation in the department.

    B. What is the need or demand for this course? (Indicate if this course is part of a required sequence in the major.) What other programs would this course service?

    The course is in demand from communication students as well as from graduate students in education, sociology, and anthropology. Enrollment has ranged between 12 and 20 students.

    C. Has this course been offered as Selected Topics/Experimental Topics course? If yes, how many times?

    Yes. 4 times.

    D. What qualifications for training and/or experience are necessary to teach this course? (List minimum qualifications for the instructor.)

    Ph.D. in Communication or closely related field.

  4. Other Course Information

    A. Objectives

    During the course, we will examine various canonical representations (and knowledge) of such taken for granted “realities” as depression, addiction, disability, child abuse, mental illness, sexual identity, body image, pornography, and fertility. Specifically, we will focus on how these “perceived” realities (and their discursive representations as “knowledge”) may condition our moral sensibilities, our interaction with others we assign to particular social categories, our understanding of ourselves, and the grasp we have of what it means to be a human and relational being.

    B. Learning Outcomes

    All students enrolled in the course are expected to participate in an original research project that emphasizes construction of social realities. The course is organized to facilitate the development, implementation, and completion of a research project grounded in a social constructionist orientation to inquiry. All of the reading for the course has been chosen to provide background and a framework for student research projects.

    C. Major Topics

    What is Social Construction? How do we understand social realities? How do we create them?

    Perspectives on Social Construction.

    The Social Construction of Knowledge.

    Society As Subjective Knowledge.

    A Relational World View.

    Horizons of Inquiry.

    Social Construction: Of What?

    Cases In Point.

    Constructivist Practices.

    D. Textbooks

    Robert M. Persig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Bantam, 1974.

    Peter L. Berger and Thomas Luckmann, The Social Construction of Reality, Anchor Books, 1966.

    Mary Gergen & Kenneth J. Gergen (Eds.), Social Construction: A Reader, Sage, 1999.

    Ian Hacking, The Social Construction of What? Harvard, 1999.

    E. Course Readings, Online Resources, and Other Purchases

    F. Student Expectations/Requirements and Grading Policy

    G. Assignments, Exams and Tests

    H. Attendance Policy

    I. Policy on Make-up Work

    J. Program This Course Supports

  5. Course Concurrence Information

- if you have questions about any of these fields, please contact or