Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Eberly College of Arts and Sciences


Sociology and Anthropology

Committee Chair

Jesse S Wozniak

Committee Co-Chair

Corey Colyer

Committee Member

Jason P Manning


One focus in the sociology of work and occupations literature concerns the phenomena by which occupations transform into skilled professions. This study focuses on a craft cocktail bar and the attending cocktail bartenders as a case study of occupational professionalization. Cocktail bartenders are uniquely suited for this type of inquiry, as many aspects of their occupation carry the markers of professionalism, such as mastery of a skill, a deep understanding of their field, and their potential to be cultural intermediaries.;This study utilizes observation and interviews to elucidate how bartenders define themselves, their work, and their occupation as a whole. By drawing on theories of human and cultural capital, professionalism, and creative work, the present study attempts to conceptualize and explain the processes that contribute to professionalization, especially in occupations that lack formal methods of gatekeeping or accreditation.