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Is jewelry still a craft? the role of trust and work ethic in jewelry sector: the case of Istanbul Grand Bazaar

Çörek, Çiğdem
In this master study, the sustainability of local craftsmanship as affected by trust and work ethic will be discussed in the specific case of the jewelry sector in the Grand Bazaar. The case study is presented relying on interviews. The research theme is evaluated in sub-categories which contain socio-demographic structure, work ethic of masters and apprentices, Grand Bazaar and the jewelry sector. The effects of trust, work ethic, and obedience on craftsmanship are discussed. Basically, informal relations form the foundation for the work and trade relations especially in craft based jewelry sector. The Grand Bazaar in Istanbul was chosen because it is the most important place for the craft-based jewelry sector in Turkey. This study first poses a general question by asking whether or not the jewelry sector in Istanbul (the Grand Bazaar) is still a craft. The analysis of the concepts of trust, work ethic, obedience, and social networks are operationalized and provide the frame for the main examination. The investigation of this topic will give clues about the organizational structure, working conditions of sector members and the production process of the sector. In the first part of this study, the concept of craftsmanship is described. This is done by giving special reference to the concepts of artisanal knowledge and work ethic. The discussion is settled in a short analysis of globalization processes. The past and future of the jewelry sector in the Grand Bazaar and guild system is discussed. In the second part, the case study is presented, relying on interviews with craftsmen in the jewelry sector in the Grand Bazaar.