Craft and the Corporation

Senior Capstone Experience by Maura West ’20

Submitted to the Department of Business Management

Advised by Dr. Michael Harvey

Abstract:  “Traditional crafts have been both a method of subsistence and an integral part of human culture for thousands of years, if not longer — in fact, some of these crafts even date back to prehistory. Recently, there have been indications that many of the traditional crafts are declining to the point of near extinction, especially in the United States. This decline is visible in five primary factors: modern organization of labor, technology, education systems, the national political and economic environment, and globalization. After interviewing six craftsmen in three traditional crafts (instrument repair, welding, and carpentry), an unyielding optimism for the future of the industries was revealed. This sentiment is completely contrary to the grim future alluded to by the five factors. This optimism, combined with the growing trendiness of “craft”-based terminology and goods, the development of more platforms for people to appreciate the processes of crafts, and the growing ease of selling crafts via online shopping sites hint toward a prosperous future for the traditional crafts. While there will still undoubtedly be some challenges to come from the five factors, other trends balance out the negatives and show that the traditional crafts may well have a bright future ahead of them.”

Read Maura’s SCE below:

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