Howard Becker’s writings keep on fascinating readers, both in academia and elsewhere. Only this month (January 2015), the New Yorker has published a longer piece by Adam Gopnik that traces Becker’s studies and their success in France (“The Outside Game“). Becker also has recently published a new book, “What about Mozart? What about Murder?” where he discusses and explains his particular sociological method. Both the New Yorker piece and Becker’s new book as well as Thaddaeus Mueller’s recent analysis “Chicago, Jazz and Marijuana: Howard Becker on Outsiders” published in our journal highlight the importance of observation for his sociology.
The importance of the observational method for Becker’s studies also is highlighted in an interview that Wenchao Lu conducted with Becker over email. The wide ranging interview traces Howard Becker’s training with Blumer and Hughes and various issues related to his book “Art Worlds“. It has just been published on early view and can be found here.
Readers of the interview might also be interested an article by Jack Katz published in Symbolic Interaction in 1994; “Jazz in Social Interaction: Personal Creativity, Collective Constraint, and Motivational Explanation in the Social Thought of Howard S. Becker“.