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English Language   >   Language, Power and Race

Social Constructionism

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Language, Power and Race

In this course, Dr Jon Ward (King's College London) explores how language, power and race interact in cultural texts. We start with an introduction to social constructionism. In the second module, we introduce and explain semiotic analysis in order to facilitate the analysis in later parts of the lecture. In the third, we think about the Enlightenment, constructions of race within the time period, and ways in which those ideas are referenced today. In the fourth, we ask, what do constructions of blackness reveal? Finally, we conclude by investigating how language constructs race.

Social Constructionism

In this module, we discuss social constructionism, focusing especially on: (i) the idea that because we use language to understand the world, language in turn constructs our perception of the world we live in, (ii) Friedrich Nietzsche's perspective that there are no facts, only interpretations, and (iii) how different racial terms are/were deemed acceptable or unacceptable depending on time and place.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Ward, J. (2023, August 14). Language, Power and Race - Social Constructionism [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Ward, J. "Language, Power and Race – Social Constructionism." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 14 Aug 2023,

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Dr Jon Ward

King's College London