Pub. date: 2010 | Online Pub. Date: November 23, 2010 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412959193 | Print ISBN: 9781412959186 | Online ISBN: 9781412959193| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Matza, David: Becoming Deviant
John D. Hewitt
Labeling theory and the broader symbolic interactionist perspective were likely reaching a zenith in 1969 when David Matza published Becoming Deviant . Interestingly, this was the same year that Travis Hirschi's Causes of Delinquency was published, signaling a significant redirection of criminological thinking away from the phenomenological assumptions of interactionism found in Matza's work. In Becoming Deviant , Matza critiques the contributions of three sociological traditions: the Chicago School, the functionalists, and the neo-Chicagoans. He notes how the contributions of each built upon its predecessors in the development of a naturalistic approach to understanding deviance and criminality. As an alternative to earlier correctional theories that held deviance to be pathological, Matza argued that only naturalistic theories of deviance would be able to faithfully render the complexity of deviant lives and lifestyles in their true nature. Viewing deviance as an inevitable and natural element in society offers an approach based Matza's ...