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

By Deborah Simonton

The paintings styles of eu girls from 1700 onwards differ when it comes to ideological, demographic, financial and familial alterations. In A heritage of ecu Women's Work, Deborah Simonton attracts jointly fresh examine and methodological advancements to take an outline of traits in women's paintings throughout Europe from the so-called pre-industrial interval to the present.
Taking the position of gender and sophistication in defining women's labour as a primary topic, Deborah Simonton compares and contrasts the speed of switch among ecu nations, distinguishing among Europe-wide concerns and native advancements.

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Example text

It implies that they newly entered the workforce, and primarily as millworkers. Yet, women had been and continued to be employed in all forms of agricultural, commercial and industrial organization, but this is blurred by overlapping changes in their work. Accelerated growth generated new opportunities for them, while losses in existing trades changed the shape of women’s paid labour. The idea of the family economy underpins almost all writing about women, their work, and their familial responsibilities in the period before factory development, centralization and rapid mechanization.

Women’s position changed when men were absent, in that women undertook ‘men’s’ marketing as substitutes. In the Auvergne, where seasonal migration meant long male absences, wives contracted the debts that carried families through the men’s absence and negotiated hiring out children to itinerant peddlers. 17 Arguably, cleaning, mending, cooking and childcare were fairly marginal demands on women’s time. Historical records of households where domestics were paid to carry out such work demonstrate how relatively minor cleaning was, with very little clothes-washing and general scrubbing or housework in the modern sense being carried out no more than once or twice a year.

With prime responsibility for maintenance of the ‘home’, women were often central to deciding household strategies, above and beyond the decisions they made about their own time and tasks. They were pivotal in determining roles of children, while there is evidence of women acting as mediators for men and the family in relations with putting-out merchants. In this sense, one could say they held power of a significant kind. Probably the key was their expected domestic responsibilities, and the importance of survival to the whole unit.

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