Introduzione. Per una nuova storia del lavoro: genere, economie, soggetti
Cristina Borderías e Manuela Martini
Introduction. Engendering Modern Labour History
The aim of this special issue is to take stock of the impact that the history of gender has had on both the history of women and the modern history of labour. To this end it takes as examples the Spanish, German and Greek historiographies. It also would like to open new lines of reflection about the very close, simultaneously familiar and fast-changing relationship between the new labour history and gender history. Presenting some empirical case studies on the Italian context, it aims to extend the history of gendered labour to a wide spectrum of social situations. The history of labour is no longer an exclusively working-class history, and even more so that of gendered labour. In workshops, shops, factories, offices, hospitals, planes’ cockpits or homes, the values that we incorporate into work are intersected by generation, qualification, origin but also gender asymmetries.
Gender, Economics and History: The Feminist Theory in Times of Crises
This article rethinks the contributions of feminist studies to the categories within economic sciences. From an epistemological standpoint, it aims to reflect about how the relationship between the subject who knows and the “known” object occurs. In order to make women’s experience of inequality and social exclusion visible and recognizable – and an object of politics – historians have had to review the truth content of the scientific knowledge. More specifically, they have had to resignify what has been defined as material life. As a result, economically invisible spaces have become objects of scientific and social analysis. This is how women have placed the issue of time at the origin of economic inequality and at center of social debate.
Dalla casa all’impiego. Concetti di genere e lavoro nell’area germanica
From Household Membership to Employment: Concepts of Gender and Work in the German-Speaking World
Over the course of the past few decades, the history of work has come to be studied from various perspectives. To some extent, such perspectives can be viewed in the context of the current social and political situations in the individual European countries. Above all, however, they are the result of interdisciplinary and international exchange that is anchored in a broader and changing sociohistorical context. The objective of this contribution is to point out and briefly describe important approaches and studies from the area of research concerned with work and gender, which has been as extensive as it is diverse ever since the 1970s, with a focus on Germany and Austria. From a gender history perspective, particular importance has been attributed to issues such as unpaid housework and reproduction, the relationship between paid work and housework, the share of women in the workforce, the reconciliation of career and family, the division of labour, domestic service, the significance of work for individual self-conceptions and one’s social positioning, the development of the labour market, and worker protection regulations aimed at women. Ongoing challenges address questions concerning how to value work – from domestic work to sex work – and the systematic integration of the category of gender into the “general” history of labour.
Labour in Economic and Social History: The Viewpoint of Gender in Greek Historiography
This article focuses on Greek historiographical production and examines how gender has enhanced or affected studies of the economic and social history οf labour. Equipped with the knowledge of the different historiographical traditions which have shaped the cognitive fields of the economic and social history in Greek academic production, the article gives an account of the factual data, well established research on different contexts and approaches, as well as the new issues which are opening up in scholarly work. Attention is drawn to the gaps in research into the history of gender relations in fields of scholarship connected to labour history.
The Gender Relationship in Postal, Telegraphic, and Telephonic Service from the 19th Century to the Second World War
Our research on postal, telegraphic and telephonic female staff pointed out the importance of these workers in the feminisation of clerical work – a job not related to the maternal function that in small cities assured to women an unusual social presence. Our contribution wishes to emphasize the battle of Ptt female workers in the feminist ranks and in the trade union movement for the acknowledgement of their rights as workers, civil servants, and women. Between the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, the female staff fought to establish the freedom of occupation – particularly against the obligation to spinsterhood –, for normative and wage equality and for their access to career. In the period between the two World Wars, the postal, telegraphic and telephonic female workers, playing a significant role within the union International Ptt, raised new issues: better conditions of work (physical and psychological stress, hygiene) and maternity protection (family benefits and maternity leaves).
Professional Identity and Gender Differences: Women’s Access to the Profession of Airline Pilot in Italy
Although the feminization of the airline pilot’s profession in Alitalia airline company is neither marked by a significant number of airwomen nor made the headlines, it serves as a blueprint for women’s emancipation in a male professional context reflecting a strong identitarian dimension. When – in the 1960s – among a small elite of airwomen attending Italian flight clubs, some of them showed an interest in piloting passenger planes, the social context was far from being conducive to the realization of that right. The male-oriented perspective of the airline company combined with the macho attitude of pilots; they fed into each other. This convergence of interests contributed to preventing women’s access to the cockpit. The women’s experience illustrates difficulties and contradictions involved in the research of professional gender equality in a “closed” professional context. During the whole period under scrutiny, Alitalia was a company where the primacy of men was exercised over the aspirations of women. Furthermore, it is also a context where “corporatism” ends up influencing women’s strategy as well. Hence it is interesting to explain the socio-historical construction of this profession in order to get the general issue of the labour emancipation of women.
The Hidden Role of Homeworkers in Italy
In textile, clothing and leather industry, the female workforce has historically played a crucial role at a global level. This role has been particularly experienced in Italy because of the relevance of this industry in the economic growth of the country, since the last century. The spread of the work at home explains the peculiarity of this socioeconomic structure: women, by working at home, both for family and industrial production, have freed other family members from domestic tasks and have allowed them to work all day outdoors. This paper describes the dynamics of the home-based work in Italy by focusing on the relation between the patriarchal division of labour, the state regulation and their effects on women’s conditions.
Le donne nell’associazionismo reducistico italiano tra Grande Guerra e fascismo
Ugo Pavan Dalla Torre