Homeworking is the supply of work to be performed in domestic premises, usually for piecework payment. Known also as outwork, it is a global phenomenon. In highly industrialised countries such as Britain or the United States, women working at home produce everything from clothes, shoes and quilts to windscreen wipers and industrial transmission belts. They process insurance claims, peel vegetables, and do company accounts. In India and Bangladesh homeworkers assemble electrical components, roll cigarettes, and make cane furniture and many other goods. Homeworking takes place under most kinds of political systems, in vastly different economic circumstances, using traditional craft skills and highly sophisticated computer technologies. How can one explain it? Who supplies the work? How is it organised? Are homeworkers predominantly women, and if so why? Does homeworking require regulation, and if so of what kind? This book attempts to answer some of these questions.
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