ISBN 9789382381358,Towards a New History of Work

Towards a New History of Work




Publication Year 2014

ISBN 9789382381358

ISBN-10 938238135X


Number of Pages 285 Pages
Language (English)


This collection of essays is the outcome of a conference, organized by the Association of Indian Labour Historians in collaboration with the V.V. Giri National Labour Institute, on the histories of work, from the long-term and comparative perspective. Why did the conference organizers and participants propose to look beyond ?labour history? to look at ?the history of work, Perhaps because at this moment of history we are in the midst of a huge change which compels our attention to turn to the notion of ?work? as distinct from that of ?labour?. This change appears to us in the form of a technological transformation that affects not just our view of history, but our life itself. Every time we use the computer or the internet or the cyber networks we experience this transformation, which brings home to us the fragility of the conventional boundary between ?labour? and ?work?. The papers collected in the present volume have been arranged thematically into four sections in order to highlight some issues in focus at the conference and also to allow a cross-national perspective to develop. The first group of papers addresses the long run of history, extending to the late medieval and early modern period. The second section comprises papers on work communities and the development of their identity. The third group of papers looks at two of the oldest occupations in history, that of soldiers and sailors. Finally, we turn to the question: how was ?work? or ?labour? perceived by those who actually performed it? In the fourth section of the book we have essays which elaborate on that perception of work, the complexities of self-perception and the socially ascribed status of workers in different domains.