May I get the door for you? An ethnographic take on the labor of doormen

Gary Alan Fine*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


This article reviews Peter Bearman's ethnographic research on the characteristics of residential doormen. In this occupational case study, Bearman relies on the well-established Chicago school in discussing how doormen enact a variety of professional responsibilities beyond the obvious roles of security and surveillance. Bearman argues that doormen are also keen impression managers who must delicately negotiate the social dynamics that are an inevitable consequence of residential life in large buildings. This includes strategically balancing power and humility as well as handling contentious political and labor issues.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)417-420
Number of pages4
JournalWork and Occupations
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2006


  • Ethnography
  • Professions
  • Service work
  • Urban

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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