HIS102Y1 Lecture Notes - Lecture 5: Early New High German, Joint-Stock Company, Putting-Out System

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HIS245: Women in Europe –Lecture 5
Gendering Early Modern Capitalism:
The Politics of (Re)Productive Labour, Guild Membership, and Managing Money
-Capitalism as process, transformations over time, specific features
1. Gender Division of Labour
2. Value of Labour: Skilled vs. Unskilled
3. Distribution of Wealth
4. Specialization, Monopolies
-early modern joint stock companies, mercantilism, colonial economies, nation-states
Questions for Us:
In what ways was early modern capitalism gendered?
How did economic relations define bodies as masculine or feminine?
I. Developments of Early Modern Capitalism
a) “Mercantile Capitalism”
-accumulation of wealth (bullion), the state, trading, maritime empires, Jean-Baptiste Colbert
b) Proto-industrialization
-economic organization of women’s labour, value, and productivity
-recruitment of ‘home-work’ into economic system and invisible labour
-“putting-out” system, cottage industry
c) Specialization
-gendered differentiation of skills: productive vs. unproductive, wage-labour, make-shift
II. Women’s Craftsmanship and Guild Membership
-early forms of the sexual politics of unionization
-guilds first organized 12th or 13th centuries
-some female guilds develop in Cologne, Paris, Rouen
-medieval period: references to female masters and male masters
-male relatives, workshops, and training
-male bonding and work cultures of exclusion
-example of social networks, journeymen’s associations, Jacques Ménètra
-Wiesner on “guild honour” and journeymen
-efforts to curtail women’s guild membership
-example of early modern German jurist of 1685: “Masculine sex is one of the
indispensable basic preconditions for admission to a guild. The entire social order is
based upon each sex taking on those tasks which are most fitting to its nature.”
-gendering the nature and structures of work:
- capping wages, piece-rate ceilings, policing of workshops
-England and needle trades, France 1675 statute for female dress-makers
-gendered distribution of skills in garment industry (cutting and male tailors)
-issues of producing clothes for boys over 8 and women of noble rank
-two piece dress bodice versus development of mantua
-significance of mantua-making (one-piece gown of bodice and skirt)
-1670s mantua adapted to more formal wear, 1720s hoopskirts
-gender struggle over mantua-making:
-examples of English 1702 petition, raids in France on workshops
-ambivalence of seamstresses’ position in patriarchal economy of early modern capitalism
III. Guild Case Studies
1.York Merchant Tailors’ Company, developments from 1693-1776
-example of Mary Blyth
-inter-town guild campaigns of 1702
-specific local conditions in York, “surplus” women
2. Parisian Seamstresses
-1652 male tailors’ guild in Aix-en-Provenance
-1675 economic policy, female labour, and Crown revenues
-conflict with male guild authorities: 1744 raid, 1750 guild statement on women’s labour
“imperfect in their work, they massacre and ruin what they make”
-‘feminization’ of needle trades, Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s Emile
-cyclical nature of women’s work, economic vulnerability, gendered workshop space
-Enlightenment and representations of the workshop (male tailor vs. mistress seamstress)
3. the Netherlands, Gouda
-Dutch and English economic positions and rope-making industry
-all female guilds, mixed guilds, and all-male guilds
-Female Hacklers’ Guild, 1655, 1661, 1664
-transport guilds: bargemen, shippers, waggoners, beer carriers
IV. Gendered Division of Labour Beyond Craft Guilds
-gendered work opportunities (male vs. female education)
-agricultural labour (features of agricultural capitalism)
-gendering work technologies and capacities (glass-cutting, knitting-frames)
-domestic service as major employer
-makeshift work and prostitution