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International Studies in Social History
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What is Work?
Gender at the Crossroads of Home, Family, and Business from the Early Modern Era to the Present
Edited by Raffaella Sarti, Anna Bellavitis, and Manuela Martini
398 pages, 10 illus., bibliog., index
ISBN 978-1-78533-911-0 $145.00/£107.00 / Hb / Published (September 2018)
ISBN 978-1-78920-802-3 $34.95/£27.95 / Pb / Published (November 2020)
eISBN 978-1-78533-912-7 eBook
“In the perspective of the preparation of the competitions, this book makes it possible to open the field of what constitutes the history of work and to build a critical point of view on its sources. It will also be of greater interest to those who want to write a reflective history of work, attentive to the categories that constitute it. Finally, at a time when the rapid development of teleworking promises to shift a large part of salaried activities to the domestic space, it offers a strong historical perspective to sharply address the pitfalls of the present.” • Le Carnet du Mouvement Social
“One of the strong points of this volume is the excellent theoretical framework offered by its editors. They begin with a solid introduction that not only serves to present the contributions but also allows to pose questions and to raise the problems approached in this volume…This work of very high quality helps to understand the multiple forms of first female and then feminist mobilization regarding the definition and redistribution of the work accomplished by women in the domestic sphere.” • Clio
Every society throughout history has defined what counts as work and what doesn’t. And more often than not, those lines of demarcation are inextricable from considerations of gender. What Is Work? offers a multi-disciplinary approach to understanding labor within the highly gendered realm of household economies. Drawing from scholarship on gender history, economic sociology, family history, civil law, and feminist economics, these essays explore the changing and often contested boundaries between what was and is considered work in different Euro-American contexts over several centuries, with an eye to the ambiguities and biases that have shaped mainstream conceptions of work across all social sectors.
Raffaella Sarti is Associate Professor of Early Modern History and Gender History at the University of Urbino, Italy, and is a member of the editorial collective of Gender & History. Her studies address family and material culture, women’s work, domestic service, Mediterranean slavery, masculinity, and graffiti, among other topics. She is the author of numerous publications in nine languages.
Anna Bellavitis is Professor of Early Modern History, Director of the Groupe de Recherche d’Histoire at Université de Rouen-Normandie, and senior member of the Institut Universitaire de France. She has led numerous international research projects on family history, gender history, and labor history in Early Modern Europe in collaboration with European universities and institutions.
Manuela Martini is Professor of Modern History at the Université Lumière Lyon 2. She has directed international research projects on labor history, family and gender history, and labor migration. A member of Gender & History’s editorial collective, she has published extensively in multiple languages and has authored or edited sixteen books and special journal issues.
Subject: History (General) Gender Studies and Sexuality
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