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Work of the Lord: An Ethnographic Case Study of an Evangelical Entrepreneur

Meister, Susie (2011) Work of the Lord: An Ethnographic Case Study of an Evangelical Entrepreneur. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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This paper is an ethnographic case study of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania-based chiropractor Daniel Pompa's use of Christianity to market his company, Pompa Health Solutions. In addition to interviews and participant observation, this paper employs narrative ethnography to bridge the gap between Pompa's rhetoric and the circumstances in which he shares it. This paper explores his use of Christian rhetoric to sell his services, legitimize his practice, and establish a trusting relationship with his patients. Pompa uses biblical references, his own illness/conversion narrative, and an evangelical worldview to promote his company to a Christian audience. In interactions with patients and advertisements, Pompa makes explicit and implicit Christian references in relation to current cultural issues (e.g. swine flu, vaccines, and weight loss) as a means of marketing. Pompa promotes his company by using the existing evangelical brand and adjusts his message to address the concerns of his audience. I argue that he positions himself as a supplement to evangelicalism as a means for his patients to practice their faith, and in doing so effectively attracts and maintains his audience. I conclude that Pompa successfully markets his secular services by using the evangelical brand. While this is a study of only one person, his affiliation with many like-minded evangelical entrepreneurs and his efforts to spread these marketing methods to other entrepreneurs indicates that more scholarship is warranted to determine the implications of this approach on business and evangelicalism.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Meister, Susiesmb11@pitt.eduSMB11
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairKane, Paulapmk@pitt.eduPMK
Committee MemberShear, Adamashear@pitt.eduASHEAR
Committee MemberBlee, Kathleenkblee@pitt.eduKBLEE
Date: 27 January 2011
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 30 November 2010
Approval Date: 27 January 2011
Submission Date: 5 December 2010
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Religious Studies
Degree: MA - Master of Arts
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: alternative medicine; body; business; Christian; illness narrative; marketing; rhetoric; wellness
Other ID:, etd-12052010-175148
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 20:08
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:53


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