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The Handbook of Knowledge-Based Coaching: FROM THEORY TO PRACTICE by Diane Brennan, Leni Wildflower

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IDENTITY, RELATIONSHIP, AND SOCIAL CONSTRUCTIONISM

Social constructionism rejects the essentialist belief that a set of biologically determined characteristics make you the person you are. Rather, “self” is constructed from within the cultural conversations that surround you. Personal identity is woven from a broad array of factors: age, gender, class, race, education, occupation, income, sexual orientation, physical agility, marital and parenting status, and so on. There are as many potential identities as are created by, and embedded in, our conversations (Burr, 2003; Anderson, 1997).

There are multiple identity-constructing conversations at work within any society. Some serve to create and sustain particular identities; others work to limit ...

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