Work, Home and the Restructuring of Jobs
The discussion which follows arises from research undertaken into the changing history of the East Midlands hosiery industry. The bulk of this work consisted of historical investigation into the period 1800–1960, using a variety of documentary sources, in particular Parliamentary Papers and also hosiery union records held in Leicester. Information of a less systematic, more impressionistic type was gained about the industry today, using both documentary and interview techniques. In trying to comprehend the changing position of women in the industry it became clear that what is referred to here as the ‘family project’, that is the combined activity of the family or household as a strategy for economic survival, had had significant effects on patterns of employment, on local labour market structures and on the changing division of labour in the workplace. In areas such as Leicester, where there is a strong tradition of women taking on paid employment as part of this family project, women’s work cannot be seen as in any sense marginal, but plays a crucial role in the adjustment of the working-class family to its particular life-chances.
KeywordsMarried Woman Female Labour Royal Commission Industry Today Sexual Division
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