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

By Deborah Simonton

A heritage of eu Women's paintings attracts jointly fresh study, energetic own debts and statistical facts to take an summary of traits in women's paintings from the pre-industrial interval to the current. Deborah Simonton discusses the definition of labor inside of and with no patriarchal households, the prestige of labor and the talents concerned. She examines neighborhood in addition to Europe-wide advancements, contrasting international locations akin 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 give a rounded account of the transferring styles of employment and the continuities that are obvious within the women's personal event.

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26 WOMEN, HOUSEHOLD AND FARM WOMEN AS FARM WORKERS Continuities are a striking feature of women’s agricultural labour, so that much appeared to stay the same. The agricultural community operated within an implicit value system subject to seasonal rhythms of work. 36 While there is an important truth in this view, it also elides the real changes in women’s experience that came about because of altered land practices, rotations and crops, the significance of technologies and tools which carry with them gendered constructs, and the relevance of commercialization of agriculture throughout Europe.

The way a woman cared for her children became a key aspect of defining her as a woman. At one time, historians charged industrialization with creating child labour and exploiting children. Research has discredited that view and with it the emotionalism that infused it, while emphasizing the importance of child labour in earlier periods, usually as part of a family economy. 32 Such views give little attention to the circumstances and culture of the family that demanded a different set of values and decisions.

Nevertheless, a few comparisons may prove suggestive. 44. For the period 1751–1836 Snell shows women’s wages to have been two-thirds to one-half of men’s throughout south-east England. In these arable counties, they increasingly tended to diverge, while in southwestern pastoral counties, areas where dairying was prominent, women’s wages were often higher than men’s. 58 Differentials represented conceptions of women and men, which were ingrained by the eighteenth century. Men were perceived as workers who needed to support the family and the reproductive force of the community.

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