Now in its third edition, this successful book introduces students to the area of social science theory and research known as social constructionism. Using a variety of examples from everyday experience and from existing research in areas such as personality, sexuality and health, it clearly explains the basic theoretical assumptions of social constructionism. Key debates, such as the nature and status of knowledge, truth, reality and the self are given in-depth analysis in an accessible style. Drawing on a range of empirical studies, the book clearly defines the various different approaches to social constructionist research and explores the theoretical and practical issues involved. While the text is broadly sympathetic to social constructionism, it also adopts a critical perspective to the material, addressing its weaknesses and, in the final chapter, subjecting the theory itself to a more extensive critique.