Toward a theorization of craft

Herbert M. Kritzer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


This article presents a theorization of craft as an analytic concept that can be applied in studies of the work of professionals, including both judges and lawyers. Building on sociological work that distinguishes craft from art, I describe a set of elements that can be used to analyze the work and working situation of lawyers, judges, and other professionals: utility, consistency, clientele, skills and techniques, problem solving, and aesthetic. I posit that these elements can be organized along two dimensions, one that distinguishes between elements that are internal to the craft community and those that are external, and a second dimension that distinguishes elements that deal with production, functionality, and evaluation. The article concludes with suggestions as to how this framework might be applied to the analysis of the work of judges.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)321-340
Number of pages20
JournalSocial and Legal Studies
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2007


  • Aesthetic
  • Craft
  • Judges
  • Lawyers
  • Professionalism
  • Professions work


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