Download e-book for iPad: A Hidden Workforce: Homeworkers in England, 1850–1985 by Shelley Pennington

By Shelley Pennington

ISBN-10: 0333432975

ISBN-13: 9780333432976

ISBN-10: 1349198544

ISBN-13: 9781349198542

Homeworkers tend to be ladies who paintings of their personal houses for an outdoor agency and are paid on a one-piece foundation. The paintings is mostly unskilled and of a run of the mill and repetitive nature. the industrial prestige of the homeworker has little or not anything in universal with the self reliant craftsman operating in his own residence prior to the onset of industrialization; homeworkers paintings with out supervision and feature no actual touch with their employers or sub-contractors other than while accumulating or returning paintings. This quantity is an research of the commercial and social place of the predominantly girl labour strength of the homework industries from 1850 to 1985. The textual content examines alterations that experience happened within the composition of the labour strength, the choices open to girls and the kinds and geographical situation of homework. The authors severely evaluation makes an attempt to enhance the placement of homeworkers and touch upon the customers for homeworking sooner or later.

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Extra resources for A Hidden Workforce: Homeworkers in England, 1850–1985

Sample text

Homework was often the only employment for the 'respectable widow'. A woman in such a position had to hope that she lived within call of a clean and light home industry. It was for these reasons that lower-middle-class women and girls, not wishing to demean themselves by being seen to be competing with working-class women for employment, opted to take in 20 Homeworkers: work and family life 21 homework. In the middle of the nineteenth century there were few respectable alternative forms of employment for this group of women.

6 The type of homework taken in by this group was either sewing or embroidery. It could be carried out in the privacy ofthe home, but in any case no one would be surprised to see a 'lady' doing some needlework during her leisure hours. Clara Collett, writing of London in the 1880s, stated that the young wife of the clerk who had regular employment but a small salary took sealskin capes home to earn extra for savings. According to Collett, these women worked for money to purchase household extras but not for a livelihood.

The whole relationship between employer and employee was transformed under the domestic system. The worker also had to sell his or her labour power. The medieval guilds had prohibited journeymen from taking work home and from working for more than one master. This was to protect their status and bargaining position and to guard 30 Homework and economic change, 1850-1914 31 against journeymen becoming 'mere outworkers'. With the collapse of the guild system, outwork became the generalised form of production.

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A Hidden Workforce: Homeworkers in England, 1850–1985 by Shelley Pennington


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