Interview with Professor William Foote Whyte on TV Show

Master’s Series on Field Research
Interview with Professor William Foote Whyte (1914-2000) on Weekday TV Show
Professor Emeritus, Cornell School of Industrial and Labor Relations


Professor William Whyte appears on the talk show “Weekday” hosted by Ted O’Brien and discusses his work as a field researcher and his monograph “Street Corner Society” (which had been written about 40 years prior to the taping of the show). Whyte begins by explaining why he picked the North End for his study. Two of the boys that Professor Whyte wrote about in “Street Corner Society,” Ralph Orlandelo and Al Natale, appear on the show and tell about their interactions with Whyte and what life was like in the North End during the Great Depression. Next, “Weekday” goes on location to see the places written about in “Street Corner Society.” “Weekday” then comes back to the studio to talk more about the living situation in the North End, principles from “Street Corner Society” that apply to other groups, and to take comments from audience members regarding the use of the pejorative term “slum” to describe the North End. Whyte, Orlandelo, and Natale discuss in detail the work Whyte did, how society viewed and treated the North End, and the importance of jobs and opportunity to grow to bring about changes in tough areas of society.

Transcript File

Interview with Professor William Foote Whyte – Weekday Show | Transcript (Text file)