Social Research Glossary


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Citation reference: Harvey, L., 2012-20, Social Research Glossary, Quality Research International,

This is a dynamic glossary and the author would welcome any e-mail suggestions for additions or amendments. Page updated 19 December, 2019 , © Lee Harvey 2012–2020.


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Becker, Howard

core definition

Howard Saul Becker (born 18 April 1928) is an American sociologist who has made major contributions to the sociology of deviance, art and music as well as methodology.

explanatory context

Howar Becker has created a web page to make things he's written readily available: see, accessed 30 May 2019

analytical review

Nicki Cole (2017) wrote:

...Becker is an American sociologist renowned for his qualitative research into the lives of those otherwise classified as deviant, and for revolutionizing how deviant behavior is studied and theorized within the discipline. The development of the subfield focused on deviance is credited to him, as is labeling theory. He also made significant contributions to the sociology of art.

associated issues

Click here for more details on Becker and Geer's views on participant observation

related areas

See also


labeling theory


Cole, N.L., 2017, 'The Life and Work of Howard S. Becker', ThoughtCo., available at, accessed 23 November 2019.

copyright Lee Harvey 2012–2020


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