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Masters of Craft:
Old Jobs in the New Urban Economy
Richard E. Ocejo

Book Description | Table of Contents
Introduction [in PDF format]


"I definitely recommend this book to anyone interested in the evolution of labor markets, how America will respond to ongoing automation, the production of status, and the role of men in an increasingly feminized society."--Tyler Cowen, Marginal Revolution


"This innovative book immerses readers in the social worlds of artisanal service workers and the tony, omnivorous taste communities they serve, and deepens our understanding of the possibilities of sustaining careers based on authentic and transparent client encounters in a precarious urban economy. Ocejo offers new typologies of artisanal career paths and worker-client relationships that will benefit future scholarship and guide aspiring freelance artisans as they master their craft."--Daniel B. Cornfield, Vanderbilt University, author of Beyond the Beat: Musicians Building Community in Nashville

"Masters of Craft provides a powerful lens into two of the most powerful forces in society today: the gentrification of our cities and the transformation of work. Through his detailed research on a series of new craft industries—bartending, distilling, barbering, and butchering—Richard Ocejo helps us better understand the opportunities and challenges of reurbanization and the transformation of older manual labor jobs into new hybrid forms of knowledge work."--Richard Florida, University of Toronto, author of The Rise of the Creative Class

"Though we often think about today’s trendy consumption in terms of ‘tastes,’ Masters of Craft gives us an inside view of its true base: the highly skilled craftsmen who create the artisanal cocktails, nose-to-tail meat cuisine, and fashionable haircuts on which the hippest part of the urban cultural ecosystem relies. By showing how they transform raw materials into the bread and butter of the creative class, Ocejo provides a fascinating cross section of the new urban economy. This is essential reading for sociologists of culture, work, cities, and consumption."--Sharon Zukin, author of Naked City: The Death and Life of Authentic Urban Places

"A wonderful contribution to the field. Masters of Craft is an engaging and well-written addition to the emerging literature on aesthetic labor and the changing social meaning of jobs--particularly now in the postrecession era, when many manual labor jobs have disappeared. I truly enjoyed this book."—Yasemin Besen-Cassino, author of Consuming Work: Youth Labor in America

"Masters of Craft is a great read. Ocejo's rich case studies of barbers, bartenders, distillers, and butchers reveal how workers in seemingly functional occupations can come to view their work as a form of art. This is an important book that demands attention and that will influence how scholars approach the intersection of work and taste."--Timothy J. Dowd, Emory University

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File created: 9/19/2017

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