Women, Work, and Activism
Chapters of an Inclusive History of Labor in the Long Twentieth Century
The thirteen critical and well-documented chapters of Women, Work and Activism examine women's labor struggle from late nineteenth-century Portuguese mutual societies to Yugoslav peasant women's work in the 1930s, and from the Catalan labor movement under the Franco dictatorship to workplace democracy in the United States. The authors portray women's labor activism in a wide variety of contexts. This includes spontaneous resistance to masculinist trade unionism, the feminist engagement of women workers, the activism of communist wives of workers, and female long-distance migration, among others. The chapters address the gendered involvement of working people in multiple and often precarious and unstable labor relations and in unpaid labor, as well as the role of the state and other institutions in shaping the history of women's labor.
The book is an innovative contribution to both the new labor history and feminist history. It fully integrates the conceptual advances made by gender historians in the study of labor activism, driving home critiques of Eurocentric historiographies of labor to Europe while simultaneously contributing to an inclusive history of women's labor-related activism wherever to be found. Examining women's activism in male-dominated movements and institutions, and in women's networks and organizations, the authors make a case for a new direction in gender history.
About the Authors
"Women, Work, and Activism captures the intellectual energy and innovative thinking of feminist labor historians across Europe and beyond. This eye-opening collection models new theories of class and gender and dismantles outmoded assumptions, categories, and narratives in labor and feminist history. Written by an impressive mix of up-and-coming younger scholars and distinguished senior researchers, these essays are pioneering in their attention to new sites of working women's agency, their adoption of transnational methodologies, and their fluency with global scholarship in multiple fields and languages."—Dorothy Sue Cobble
"By providing a rich range of examples of labor-related women's activism—from mutualism to conventional trade unionism, and from feminist workers to communist wives of workers—this volume demonstrates not only that 'activism' can be defined very differently in various contexts but also the myriad positions workers' politics can take vis-á-vis the politics of class and gender. There have been very few collected volumes on women's labor politics that could be compared to this book, and even less with a view back on the twentieth century as long as offered by this collection. Also, Women, Work, and Activism comes timely, at a pivotal moment for labor politics marked by structural changes in the labor market that will impact gender composition and gendered practices—a moment when we especially need to recognize and understand the history of women's labor activism."—Samita Sen
|Central European University Press
|Work and Labor – Transdisciplinary Studies for the 21st Century
Other Titles by Eloisa Betti
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