© Howard Saul Becker and Figure/Ground Communication.
Dr. Becker was interviewed by Gonzalo Ralón and Laureano Ralón
on January 12th, 2013.
Howard S. Becker is an American sociologist who has made major contributions to the sociology of deviance, sociology of art, and sociology of music. Becker also wrote extensively on sociological writing styles and methodologies. In addition, Becker’s book Outsiders: Studies in the Sociology of Deviance provided the foundations for labeling theory. Becker is often called a symbolic interactionist or social constructionist; however, he does not align himself with either field. A graduate of the University of Chicago, Becker is considered part of the second Chicago School of Sociology which also includes Erving Goffman and Anselm Strauss. Much of Becker’s early work was guided in the Chicago School tradition, in particular by Everett C. Hughes who served as Becker’s mentor and advisor. Other books include Art Worlds (1982), Tricks of the Trade: How to Think about Your Research While You’re Doing It (1998), Telling About Society (2007), Writing for Social Scientists (Second edition, 2007), and Do You Know . . . ? The Jazz Repertoire in Action, with Robert R. Faulkner (2009).