Howard S. Becker is a leading contemporary sociologist who interprets society as collective action and sociology, therefore, as the study of collective action. This volume explores the theory and methods necessary to study collective action and social interaction. Becker includes most of his work on theory and method that has not previously appeared in book form. It reflects his unique way of thinking about and studying society.
The first part of the book treats methodological problems as problems of social interaction and lists a series of research problems requiring analytic attention. The second part illustrates Becker's approach through full reports on two of his major research projects. Four theoretical statements on how people change comprise the third part, and the fourth part includes important contributions to the study of deviance. These essays illustrate the need to study deviance as part of the general study of society, not as an isolated specialty.
Sociological Work is an important statement of the distinctive theoretical and methodological views associated with the Chicago School of Sociology; it shows a deep concern with the first-hand study of processes and human consequences of collective action and interaction. This illuminating volume is an engaging introduction to some of the issues of importance to sociologists and those interested in the studies of collective action and deviance, and it is well adapted to use in courses in these areas.
PART I PROBLEMS OF SOCIOLOGICAL METHOD
1 On Methodology
2 Problems of Inference and Proof in Participant Observation
3 Field Work Evidence
4 The Life History and the Scientific Mosaic
5 Social Observation and Social Case Studies
6 The Nature of a Profession
7 Problems in the Publication of Field Studies
8 Whose Side Are We On?
PART II EDUCATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS AND EXPERIENCES
9 Social-Class Variations in the Teacher-Pupil Relationship
10 The Teacher in the Authority System of the Public School
11 The Career of the Chicago Public School Teacher
12 The Elements of Identification with an Occupation (with James Carper)
13 The Development of Identification with an Occupation (with James Carper)
14 Adjustment of Conflicting Expectations in the Development of Identification with an Occupation (with James Carper)
15 Schools and Systems of Social Status
16 Noncollege Youth
PART III THE PROCESSES OF PERSONAL CHANGE
17 Careers, Personality and Adult Socialization (with Anselm L. Strauss)
18 Notes on the Concept of Commitment
19 Personal Change in Adult Life
20 The Self and Adult Socialization
PART IV DEVIANCE
21 History, Culture and Subjective Experience: An Exploration of the Social Bases of Drug-Induced Experiences
22 Conventional Crime: Rationalizations and Punishment
23 Deviance and Deviates