Thursday, December 20, 2007

What is Howard S. Becker reading?

The current featured contributor to Writers Read: Howard S. Becker.

His latest book is Telling About Society. According to Becker, "It deals with all the different ways people have used to communicate what they thought they knew about society, everything from novels and plays to mathematical models. You can get an idea of the book's contents and perspective from the syllabus and list of readings from a course of that name I have taught a couple of times."

One paragraph from his entry:
Another friend, Harvey Molotch, wants to discuss a new book by Bruno Latour, Reassembling the Social: An Introduction to Actor-Network Theory, and so I'm rereading that. Latour is one of the most original thinkers in my field of sociology in a long time and his ideas, though clearly and even amusingly stated, are unconventional enough to confuse people who can't quite believe that he means what he says. I read people like Latour the way my mentor, Everett C. Hughes, recommended I read the great sociologist Georg Simmel, not trying to grasp his "theory," whatever that might be in all its integrity, but just looking for ideas that could be useful. (It's the way I read Wittgenstein, on the rare occasions when I do.) Latour doesn't disappoint, there are plenty of useful ideas on every page. [read on]
Learn more about Howard S. Becker and his scholarship.

Read about Telling About Society at the University of Chicago Press website.

Writers Read: Howard S. Becker.

--Marshal Zeringue