Women’s work and structural change: rural manufacturers in 18th century Spain

Professor Carmen Sarasúa, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
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14:00 - 15:30
Faculty of History
George Street
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Colin Matthew Room

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Lectures and seminars
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Economic modernization is understood as the process by which societies moved from peasant to urban, and production and employment from agricultural to industrial. The main indicators of this transition are the share of GDP originated by the industrial and service sectors, and the share of population in non-agricultural, i.e., industrial and service, employment.

This paper does two things: first, it calculates women's participation in 18th century inland Spain, thus contributing to knowledge on women's work and on labour market segregation by gender in pre-industrial Europe. Secondly, it shows that taking into account women's paid work transforms our vision of the structure of employment in preindustrial times, and thus the conventional vision of how economic and social modernization occurred.