An In-Depth Look at the Artisanal Economy
Masters of Craft: Old Jobs in the New Urban Economy, a recent book by Professor Richard E. Ocejo, gives an in-depth — and inside — look at the people who choose to work as mixologists, whole-animal butchers, and upscale barbers: 21st-century, gentrified versions of traditional service jobs.
For the book, which focuses on four sectors of this new economy — bartending, distilling, barbering, and butchering — Ocejo (John Jay College of Criminal Justice and The Graduate Center, CUNY) took an internship as a butcher at Dickson’s Farmstand Meats in New York City’s Chelsea Market, CUNY Matters recently reported.
He also interviewed dozens of highly educated New Yorkers who sought these jobs, rather than opting for more conventional corporate careers. The rewards? Emotional fulfillment and status; within their urban social spheres, these craft practitioners are seen as artisans and tastemakers.
Ocejo previously applied his love of immersive reporting, combined with sociological and economic insight, to write Upscaling Downtown: From Bowery Saloons to Cocktail Bars in New York City. For that book, he spent years analyzing changes in Lower Manhattan through its rapidly evolving bar scene.
Explore This Work
Masters of Craft: Old Jobs in the New Urban Economy
Princeton University Press, 2017
Richard E. Ocejo (Professor, Criminal Justice) | Profile
Turning Old Jobs Into New Careers (CUNY Matters)