The persistence of gendered occupations and earnings is a reminder of the deep historical roots of many patterns of work. FORMSofLABOUR aims to create a new history of work in the preindustrial economy, the period when waged work first became the dominant form of labour in much of Western Europe. The history of labour and its role in European economic development has been very largely the history of adult men. This project puts other workers in the picture, not simply by 'adding them on' but by showing how a full understanding of women's work and the work of servants (live-in workers employed on long term contracts) offers a radical critique of existing approaches to work in the preindustrial economy. While women and servants are marginal in existing accounts of economic change, they were not marginal in the preindustrial economy.
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Experimenting with the Database
12 January 2023
Credit Networks of Married Women in the Early Modern Rural Economy Hannah Robb When I was invited to contribute to the workshop ‘Networks, Behaviour and Strategies in Early...
Schrödinger’s Training Clause: The Puzzles of Pauper Apprenticeships, Part II
29 September 2021
James Fisher This is the second post in a short series on different strands of research into pauper apprenticeships as a compulsory form of labour. Read Part I here. The essence of...
The Missing 1550 Act: The Puzzles of Pauper Apprenticeships, Part I
15 July 2021
James Fisher The best introductions are fashionably late and retrospective, right? I began my 3-year project researching pauper apprenticeships in the summer of 2020, which will contribute...
New Ways of Working (1): Discussion and Collaboration Online
27 May 2021
Jane Whittle Due to Covid-19 over the last 15 months almost all meetings have been online rather than in person. This blog explores the benefits of these new ways of working for academic...