Richard E. Ocejo

Masters of Craft

Old Jobs in the New Urban Economy

Princeton University Press 2017

New Books in American StudiesNew Books in EconomicsNew Books in Gender StudiesNew Books in Peoples & PlacesNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books in SociologyNew Books Network May 22, 2017 Sarah E. Patterson

Readers will want to grab a cocktail and charcuterie board when they sit down to read Richard E. Ocejo‘s new book, Masters of Craft:...

Readers will want to grab a cocktail and charcuterie board when they sit down to read Richard E. Ocejo‘s new book, Masters of Craft: Old Jobs in the New Urban Economy (Princeton University Press, 2017). Ocejo explores the performance of culture through food and drink choices as well as the rejection of mass production in craft jobs. Working in the field, Ocejo provides readers with a glimpse into the working lives of bartenders, distillery workers, butchers and barbers. Highly educated and seeking meaning in their work, more young men are moving into these traditional jobs that have turned high end. Oceojo paints a sociological landscape of work and meaning in these jobs as well as understanding around “good jobs” in the new economy. Through technical skills as well as cultural understanding, we see how these workers not only support each other in each niche community, but also help teach the customers about these ways of life. Questioning our ideas about social mobility and what is a “good job,” Ocejo provides insight into stratification of tastes as well as the gentrification of jobs.

This book would be useful in an upper level undergraduate or even graduate course in Work and Occupations, and will be enjoyed by sociologist, economists, and cocktail drinkers alike.


Sarah E. Patterson is a Family Demographer and is ABD at Penn State. You can follow and tweet her at @spattersearch.