Creating Promising Futures Through Social Construction
by Cynthia A. Karaffa
Undertaking the exploration of the diverse, thought-provoking interpretations students provided for the words “terrorism” and “terrorist” is the basis of this work. The purpose in describing their interpretations is to acknowledge, in some instances, their acceptance of and resistance to “official” definitions and versions of “reality” regarding terrorism and terrorist. My interest is in showing how reality is constructed and experienced by students and how we as researchers and educators may create new possibilities of reality. This display of reality utilizes seven female students’ written discourse and is presented through the lens of sociological, political, and educational theories.
The title of this work, Intellectual Courage and the Social Construction of Terrorism: Embodying Reality, reflects the three main constructs: intellectual courage, social construction, and reality. The results display an expression of open-mindedness without intimidation. When discussing and analyzing their socially constructed realities, many students were able to think more creatively and critically when viewing “reality” associate with terrorists and terrorism.