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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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A Researcher Set Free

A Researcher Set Free

Chapter:
(p.77) 6 A Researcher Set Free
Source:
The Sociology of Howard S. Becker
Author(s):

Alain Pessin

, Steven Rendall
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226362991.003.0006

In the concluding chapter, Pessin explores the overarching idea that Becker’s sociology is a sociology of freedom. He explains how concepts of collective action, comparison, and process guide Becker’s observation and how this approach to research is flexible, refusing to conform to rigid disciplinary boundaries. In Becker’s view, the object of sociology is saying something interesting about the real lives of people who exist, rather than trying to uncover the truth principle of the social. Pessin applauds Becker’s efforts to avoid mythicizing and sanctifying norms and institutions. He closes the chapter by emphasizing the necessity of adding some Beckerian lightness to the practice of sociological storytelling.

Keywords:   Howard Becker, sociology, freedom, storytelling

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