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The Sociology of Howard S. BeckerTheory with a Wide Horizon$
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Alain Pessin

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780226362717

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226362991.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 28 September 2021

Culture in Motion

Culture in Motion

(p.40) 3 Culture in Motion
The Sociology of Howard S. Becker

Alain Pessin

, Steven Rendall
University of Chicago Press

Here, Pessin explores Becker’s interactionist model of culture and applies his notions of conventions and worlds to a general sociology framework. Becker’s approach to culture was radically different from sociologies of exteriority and imposition, and was characterized by a methodological reluctance to accord an operational capacity to abstractions. According to Becker, culture can be seen as an activity or process that creates shared understandings and guides actions. Using Becker’s example of jazzmen, Pessin explains how common activity, a system of representations, and a code of behaviour are all necessary parts of culture. The chapter closes with a discussion of the advantages and disadvantages of using a chess metaphor to describe cultural interactions.

Keywords:   conventions, worlds, culture, Howard Becker, cooperation, jazz

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