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The politics of women's work : the Paris garment trades, 1750-1915 /
Judith G. Coffin.
Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press, c1996.
xiii, 289 p. : ill., map ; 25 cm.
0691034478 (alk. paper)
More Details
Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press, c1996.
0691034478 (alk. paper)
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references (p. [259]-274) and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1996-12-01:
Coffin (Univ. of Texas, Austin) has produced an interesting, well-written cultural history of women working in the Parisian clothing industry. She challenges older labor histories inspired by the work of E.P. Thompson, and provides a fuller portrait of the variability of the "progress" of industrialization in France, compared to those based on English models. Part 1 discusses how sewing came to be considered "women's work" and how advertising targeted women as consumers of the new sewing machines. Coffin's interpretation of the messages implicit in posters is particularly impressive and gives much insight into the gender concerns of the era. Part 2 explores the revival of homework in the late 19th century, and challenges modernization theorists who argue that the evolution toward factory work was inevitable. Economic pressures, family concerns, and hours legislation all aided that revival. Part 3 discusses the relationship among the emerging social sciences, trade unions, feminists, minimum wage activists, and the thriving homework industry. Of particular interest is Coffin's analysis of how the Third Republic dealt with the "'problem' of women's work." Nicely produced, with useful illustrations. Upper-division undergraduates and above. M. T. Scholz Grays Harbor College
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, December 1996
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Table of Contents
List of Illustrations
Introductionp. 3
Women's Work? Men and Women, Guild and Clandestine Production in Eighteenth-Century Parisp. 19
Machinery, Political Economy, and Women's Work, 1830-1870p. 46
Selling the Sewing Machine: Credit, Advertising, and Republican Modernity, 1870-1900p. 74
The Revival of Homework: Many Routes to Mass Productionp. 121
Married Women's Work: Wage Earning, Domesticity, and Work Identityp. 141
Unions and the Politics of Productionp. 175
Social Science and the Politics of Consumptionp. 201
The Minimum Wage Bill: Work, Wages, and Worthp. 229
Conclusionp. 251
Bibliographyp. 259
Indexp. 275
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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