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History after HobsbawmWriting the Past for the Twenty-First Century$
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John H. Arnold, Matthew Hilton, and Jan Rüger

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198768784

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198768784.001.0001

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Rethinking Gender and Labour History

Rethinking Gender and Labour History

(p.242) 13 Rethinking Gender and Labour History
History after Hobsbawm

Sonya O. Rose

Sean Brady

Oxford University Press

This chapter questions the ambiguities of ‘working classes’ and ‘work’, both historically and contemporaneously. Labour history, once a thriving scholarly field in the United Kingdom, tended to concentrate upon industrialized work and the trade union movement. But this approach leaves out huge swathes of non-unionized workers and fails to address the demise of industrial labour, its relocation to ‘developing areas’, and the condition of workers in the service sector. The chapter argues for a global turn in labour history by thinking about embodied labour in a global context, being ‘comparative’ at least to the extent of recognizing the specificities of any conjunction between work, identity, and social life in a locality. It attends to changes over the longue durée and areas of persistence in gender identities; and power relations and their link to work and to socioeconomic inequalities.

Keywords:   gender, global, work, working class, trade union, industrial labour, labour history, identity

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