Without the notion of ‘social constructs’ as “real” affective assemblages in the world our cognitive navigational mappings will remain just so many unreflexive reactions to banal perceptions of mere objects.
Social constructs and their associated schematic prompts are not simple objects with simple location, but rather enacted distributed networks involving brains, social tokens (symbols) with semiotic relation (language, semantics), ecosystems, infrastructures, and practices/habits. That we can’t point to one thing to say “this is a social construct” or “this is a narrative” does not mean these assemblages are incapable of affecting causal flows as territorializing attractors with distributed intensive and extensive properties. And so we need bridging language and concepts like ‘social constructs’ to better understand how these kinds of generative hyper-objects and compositional matrices operate beyond simple location.
What we call the Real is not simply some litany of discrete objects available to banal human perceptions, but a mangled and messy combination of properties and gross (material) to subtle (informational) relations that generate action.
The mainstream debate about social constructs shows how deeply engrained individualism is in the American psyche. From an individualist viewpoint, there are two categories that a claim to knowledge can fall into: objective (existing “out there” in the real world) or subjective (all in your head). The concept of a social construct points toward a […]