The Outliers

Author John Schlichtman discusses Showroom City

host Scott Graves and guest Sarah Nadler discuss women in business in spring 2023
Photo credit Phylis K. Ershowsky

When is it useful to study an outlier? While we may find phenomena that represent an extreme less useful at times, there are times that discounting an outlier would prevent us from a highly valuable opportunity to explore, to discover and to learn.

Dr. John Schlichtman takes outliers seriously.  When he first came across the city of High Point, NC two decades ago, he had to see it for himself.  Thus began a near two decades relationship John has cultivated with the people and places in High Point, resulting in 2022’s ‘ShowRoom City: Real Estate and Resistance in the Furniture Capital of the World’ 

The story that unfolds from this Central North Carolina City is a story not only of deindustrialization, class, real estate development and more.  The experience of High Point forces us to consider how it is we derive value in business, who gets the benefit of this value and even more to the point, who decides how a city defines itself. 

John Joe Schlichtman is associate professor of sociology at DePaul University. Schlichtman is an urban sociologist who is motivated by the potential of equitable, just, and productive community development. His research has focused on understanding the dynamics of macro-level processes such as globalization and gentrification: how stakeholders resist or exploit them, the decisions residents make in navigating them, and their influence on the urban landscape. He is co-author of the book Gentrifier, and received his MA and PhD in Sociology with an emphasis in urban sociology from New York University under the supervision of Harvey Molotch (NYU) and Neil Brenner (University of Chicago).

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