Date: April 14, 2011
Creator: Giulietti, Michael & Jordan, Ann
Description: This presentation discusses research on understanding contemporary professional culture. In the summer of 2010, the author embarked on an applied anthropology project to study the American professional culture of shoe repair. The project was funded by UNT's McNair Program, with guidance by Dr. Ann Jordan of UNT's Anthropology department. This qualitative study utilized anthropological methods to investigate this rapidly diminishing group and the reasons for its precipitous decline. The project had two methods of participant recruitment: in-store encounters, and attendance at the Shoe Service Institute of America's 2010 convention in Oklahoma City. Twenty-one participants were gathered from shoe repair establishments in the Dallas-Fort Worth are and an additional twenty-eight participants were located at the convention. The research uncovered the adaptive strategies employed by the shoe repair industry to remain a viable business in a consumption-driven market economy. In a future guaranteed to have fewer resources, shoe repair may see a resurgence as the public begins to value the services of shoe repair experts once more.
Contributing Partner: UNT Honors College