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Approaching Women and Work in premodern Europe

Hotchin, Julie; Bailey, Merridee and Colwell, Tania (2018) Approaching Women and Work in premodern Europe. In: Women and Work in Premodern Europe: Experiences, Relationships and Cultural Representation, c. 1100 - 1800. Routledge, Abingdon, pp. 1-29. ISBN 9781138202023

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This chapter offers fresh insights into women’s lived experiences of labour – whether courtly, bourgeois, lower status, or monastic – as well as into how cultural activities could be constructed as work in historical periods. The broad chronological span of the chapter challenges the artificial periodisation which posits a break from the medieval to the early modern around 1500, and which continues to inform much contemporary scholarship on premodern women, their experiences of work, and indeed, medieval and modern history itself. By tracing shifts in the meanings attributed to the concepts of work and labour in the premodern European past, the chapter demonstrates the historical value of an expanded understanding of work. The chapter also identifies how particular concepts of work have influenced the historiography of women’s work in recent decades, exploring how seminal studies framed key questions, and the theoretical considerations underpinning their source analysis. Building on our aim to extend the concepts and language used to analyse historical women’s working experiences, this chapter acknowledges that women’s working lives were intricately intertwined with a range of legal, guild, civic, and cultural discourses and practices.

Item Type: Book Chapters
Repository Version: Published Version
Keywords: women, labour, work, gender studies
Fields of Research: 20 Language, Communication and Culture > 2002 Cultural Studies > 200205 Culture, Gender, Sexuality
21 History and Archaeology > 2103 Historical Studies > 210307 European History (excl. British, Classical Greek and Roman)
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 95 Cultural Understanding > 9505 Understanding Past Societies > 950504 Understanding Europe's Past
Type of Activity: Pure Basic Research
Subjects: A - Humanities, general
College/Association with University of Divinity: YTU: Yarra Theological Union
Depositing User: Ms Julie Hotchin
Date Deposited: 09 Sep 2018 23:30
Last Modified: 09 Sep 2018 23:30
URI: http://repository.divinity.edu.au/id/eprint/3324

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