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 document 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 female labor activism in a wide variety of contexts including spontaneous resistance to traditional trade unionism, feminist workers, communist wives of workers, and female long-distance migrants. The chapters address the 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 labor history and feminist history. It redefines the new labor history by focusing on the political-social history of labor and by fully integrating the conceptual advances made by gender historians in the study of labor activism. Both class and gender shaped women's labor activism, and the authors make a case for a new direction in gender history that takes this activism into account.
About the Authors
Dr. Eloisa Betti is Adjunct Professor of Labor History at the University of Bologna.
Leda Papastefanaki is Associate Professor of Economic and Social History at the University of Ioannina and Collaborating Faculty Member at the Institute for Mediterranean Studies – FORTH (Greece). She has published on the social and economic history of industrialization and labor in the Mediterranean context, and gender history.
Marica Tolomelli is Associate Professor at the University of Bologna. Her research focuses on social conflicts, social movements, and political cultures since the end of WWII until the end of the 20th century, and the history public spheres and the circulation of ideas in the "long 20th century" from a global perspective.
Susan Zimmermann is University Professor at Department of History and Department of Gender Studies, Central European University. Her research has focused on the history of the Habsburg Monarchy, international women's organizations in the 20th century, the ILO, and women and trade unions in state-socialist Hungary. She is President of the International Conference of Labour and Social History (ITH).
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