Labor Industrial Relations

A History of European Women's Work: 1700 to the Present by Deborah Simonton

By Deborah Simonton

A background of ecu Women's paintings attracts jointly contemporary learn, vigorous own money owed and statistical proof to take an outline of tendencies in women's paintings from the pre-industrial interval to the current. Deborah Simonton discusses the definition of labor inside of and with out patriarchal households, the prestige of labor and the talents concerned. She examines neighborhood in addition to Europe-wide advancements, contrasting nations similar to Britain, Germany and France. She considers women's personal perceptions of labor and its position of their lives in addition to age and sophistication, to offer a rounded account of the moving styles of employment and the continuities that are obvious within the women's personal adventure.

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Motherhood was not only a married state. Significant to understanding women’s work is recognizing the importance of ‘strategies’. There is little doubt that the household, and women in particular, juggled labour needs and time to provide the most efficient use of their labour and skills. When a woman’s domestic obligations were at a maximum, and when she could not be substituted, her participation in other work was curtailed. When industrial demands were of prime importance, and when she could use others in her place, she was likely to do so.

Ploughing, hedging and ditching as well as ‘specialist’ jobs, like shepherding, cartering and stockman, were seen as male prerogatives. The latter, like long-distance marketing, required long absences from home and may have 32 WOMEN, HOUSEHOLD AND FARM become associated with men for that reason. If so, they reinforce female identity with home and hearth. In general, field work was considered male and work nearer the home female, but the exceptions indicated above are sufficient to make this an ideal rather than a reality.

But still one-third to a half probably remained until marriage. Patterns varied in different economic and social settings. 28 They frequently found they had similar domestic tasks in another’s house, as did women who never married. This was obviously true of girls who went into domestic service or apprentices in housewifery, but even those hired or apprenticed to agriculture or domestic manufacture frequently shared household work. As domestic service probably was the largest employer of women throughout the century and a stage of life for very large numbers of females, domestic obligations continued to be highly significant for them.

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