SOC 101: Introduction to Sociology
March 4, 2012
Howard S. Becker
Howard Becker was a famous American sociologist. He made several contributions in the fields of occupations, education, deviance and art and made several studies in those fields. He particularly made several studies in the field of social deviance and occupations. Most of studies went into the interactions between criminal people and regular people. Many of these studies included the criminal minds of these people, relationship between them and regular society, and how society viewed them.
Howard Saul Becker was born on April 18, 1928 in Chicago, Illinois (Bernard, 2012). He studied sociology at the University of Chicago and he was hooked eventually getting his Ph.D. in it as well and then used his knowledge to teach future sociologists and complete his studies, which were funded by Northwestern University. While teaching and working at the university he also published several books but his most famous was Outsiders: Studies in the Sociology of Deviance, which was published in 1963. He also wrote several other books that helped develop the sociology field even more which included Writing for Social Scientists in 1986 and Tricks of the Trade in 1998 (Bernard, 2012). He is now currently retired in California and continues to write articles for the field of sociology.
Becker did several experiments with the criminal minds where he watched their behavior calling it deviance. He views deviance as the “creation of social groups and not the quality of some act or behavior and criticizes other theories of deviance for accepting the existence of deviance and by doing so, accept the values of the majority within the social group and by studying the act of the individual is unimportant because deviance is simply rule breaking behavior that is labeled deviant by persons in positions of power (Becker, 1963).” What Becker means is that people are deviant or...
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