The proposal of humanist constructionism
| STUDI DI SOCIOLOGIA - 2011 - 2
V. CESAREO - I. VACCARINI, The proposal of humanist constructionism
Sociological theory in the twentieth century polarized between collectivist doctrines which
asserted social determinism and individualist ones which asserted the autonomous action of
atomistically conceived individuals. The late 1900s also saw the advent of a kind of radical individualism
which can be labelled «sociological minimalism». «Social constructionism» is the
contemporary approach which seeks to reconcile the above polarizations, and it is within its
theoretical domain that lies the proposal for a «humanist constructionism» put forward in this
article. Humanist constructionism sets value on subjectivity and historicity. On this base it thematizes
the person understood as a sociological category, and it crucially refers to the sociology
of Max Weber in so far as it is qualified by the existential and historicist dimensions. The distinctive
feature of humanist constructionism is its axiological profile founded upon the concept
of citizenship. Within contemporary sociology, «humanist constructionism» has a particular
elective affinity with the morphogenetic approach of M. Archer.
Key words: humanism, constructionism, person, citizenship.