While common sense suggests that reality exists prior to, and outside signification (see also realism), according to constructionists (who refer to the construction of reality), ‘reality has authors’ and what we experience as reality is a set of codes which represent the world; realities are made, not given or ‘discovered’. ‘Reality’ is constructed in representations. Some semioticians, following Barthes, refer to reality as an ‘effect’ of the sign. Many pluralize the term or bracket it with quotation marks to emphasize their rejection of the realist notion of a single, objective, knowable, external reality. Not all realities are equal, and texts are sites of struggle in which realities are contested. Everyday interaction functions as reality maintenance (see also reflexivity). See also phenomenology.
Subjects: Media Studies.