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Social determinism is the hypothesis that social interactions and constructs alone determine individual behavior (as opposed to biological or objective factors).

Consider certain human behaviors, such as having a particular sexual orientation, committing murder, or writing poetry. A social determinist would look only at social phenomena, such as customs and expectations, education, interpersonal interactions, and memes, to decide whether or not a given person would exhibit any of these behaviors. They would discount biological and other non-social factors, such as genetic makeup, the physical environment, etc. Ideas about nature and biology would be considered to be socially constructed.

Social determinism is the opposite of biological determinism.

See also

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