The phrase “social construction” refers to the fact that things, symbols, places, sounds — basically everything — is devoid of meaning until we, collectively, agree as to what something means. Once that happens, it has been “socially constructed” and we can refer to it as a “social construct.”
The fact that gestures have any meaning at all, and that they can have different meanings in different places, is a simple example of this basic sociological concept. Enjoy this one minute compilation of examples!Lisa Wade, PhD is a professor at Occidental College. She is the author of American Hookup, a book about college sexual culture, and a textbook about gender. You can follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.