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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.

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    Abstract

    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
    ETD Committee:
    ETD Committee TypeCommittee MemberEmail
    Committee ChairKane, Paulapmk@pitt.edu
    Committee MemberShear, Adamashear@pitt.edu
    Committee MemberBlee, Kathleenkblee@pitt.edu
    Title: Work of the Lord: An Ethnographic Case Study of an Evangelical Entrepreneur
    Status: Unpublished
    Abstract: 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.
    Date: 27 January 2011
    Date Type: Completion
    Defense Date: 30 November 2010
    Approval Date: 27 January 2011
    Submission Date: 05 December 2010
    Access Restriction: No restriction; The work is available for access worldwide immediately.
    Patent pending: No
    Institution: University of Pittsburgh
    Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
    Refereed: Yes
    Degree: MA - Master of Arts
    URN: etd-12052010-175148
    Uncontrolled Keywords: alternative medicine; body; business; Christian; illness narrative; marketing; rhetoric; wellness
    Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Religious Studies
    Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 15:08
    Last Modified: 21 May 2012 12:11
    Other ID: http://etd.library.pitt.edu/ETD/available/etd-12052010-175148/, etd-12052010-175148

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