Catalogue


Women and labour in late colonial India : the Bengal jute industry /
Samita Sen.
imprint
Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 1999.
description
xviii, 265 p. : map.
ISBN
0521453631
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
author
imprint
Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 1999.
isbn
0521453631
catalogue key
2737000
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1999-12-01:
Sen's study examines the roles and issues affecting working women in Calcutta's jute mills. Using a gendered eye, Sen describes how long-term trends in Indian society devalued women's labor so that between 1890 and 1940 the percentage of women working in jute mills declined from 20 percent to 12 percent. She shows that because of changing social expectations among the elite, working women became more difficult to recruit to mill work, were regarded less as workers than as individuals filling gender-specific roles (motherhood), and were eventually regarded as morally deficient. Even though working women probably had fewer connections to their villages than similarly placed men, working women were considered prostitutes and social pariahs and were excluded from central roles in unions. This work is an important explanation of the interplay of gender and class, and contributes to understanding the effects on female industrial labor of the increasing seclusion of women, the change from bride-price to dowry, and the social/economic devaluation of women's work. It should find a ready readership in colleges and universities and among the general public. Upper-division undergraduates and above. D. L. White; Appalachian State University
Reviews
Review Quotes
‘… this book is a valuable addition to the history of women in colonised societies. It should be of interest to scholars of different disciplines who are interested in the historical and contemporary nexus between work and stratification.’Times Higher Education Supplement
"This work is an important explanation of the interplay of gender and class." Choice
"Women and Labour in Late Colonial India is an excellent example of women's history. In this book, Sen forces us to look at how women's lives as jute mill workers followed different trajectories than those of men, weaves a story of the complex relationship between gender and class, and insists we view the historical construction of gender as a process deeply embedded in economic, political and social processes...a must read for scholars and students of colonial history, labor history, and women's history." The Historian
'... Indian economic history has normally used a narrowly western model of manufacture which describes the principal conflict as between capital and labour. Sen makes a real contribution in describing a further, and specifically Indian, level of complexity.'Times Literary Supplement
'... this book is a valuable addition to the history of women in colonised societies. It should be of interest to scholars of different disciplines who are interested in the historical and contemporary nexus between work and stratification.' Times Higher Education Supplement
'... this book is a valuable addition to the history of women in colonised societies. It should be of interest to scholars of different disciplines who are interested in the historical and contemporary nexus between work and stratification.'Times Higher Education Supplement
"Sen ventures into new territory with her assertion that gender is not secondary, but indeed primary, to the analysis of factory work. This is a must read for scholars and students of colonial history, labor history, and women's history," The Historian
' ... this book is a valuable addition to the history of women in colonised societies. It should be of interest to scholars of different disciplines who are interested in the historical and contemporary nexus between work and stratification.' The Times Higher Education Supplement
‘… Indian economic history has normally used a narrowly western model of manufacture which describes the principal conflict as between capital and labour. Sen makes a real contribution in describing a further, and specifically Indian, level of complexity.’Times Literary Supplement
"...ambitious study...Sen's work is thorough and informative...Sen's quest for working-class women's history in Bengali jute mills was a very challenging one, and she productively pushes our knowledge and questions further." American Historical Review
'... Indian economic history has normally used a narrowly western model of manufacture which describes the principal conflict as between capital and labour. Sen makes a real contribution in describing a further, and specifically Indian, level of complexity.' Times Literary Supplement
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, December 1999
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Summaries
Bowker Data Service Summary
Samita Sen's history of labouring women in Bengal in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries considers how social constructions of gender shaped their lives.
Description for Bookstore
In a history of labouring women in Calcutta, the author demonstrates how social constructions of gender shaped their lives and how the long-term trends in the Indian economy devalued their labour. The study makes a significant contribution to the social and economic history of colonial India.
Description for Bookstore
Samita Sen's history of labouring women in Calcutta in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries considers how social constructions of gender shaped their lives. The author demontrates how the long-term trends in the Indian economy devalued women's labour, establishing patterns of urban migration and changing gender equations within the family. She relates these trends to the spread of dowry giving, enforced widowhood and child marriage. The study will make a significant contribution to the understanding of the social and economic history of colonial India and to notions of gender construction.
Main Description
Samita Sen's history of laboring women in Bengal in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries considers how social constructions of gender shaped their lives. The author demonstrates how the long-term trends in the Indian economy devalued women's labor, establishing patterns of urban migration and changing gender equations within the family. She relates these trends to the spread of dowry, enforced widowhood and child marriage. The study will make a significant contribution to the understanding of the social and economic history of colonial India and to notions of gender construction.
Main Description
Samita Sen's history of labouring women in Calcutta in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries considers how social constructions of gender shaped their lives. Dr Sen demonstrates how - in contrast to the experience of their male counterparts - the long-term trends in the Indian economy devalued women's labour, establishing patterns of urban migration and changing gender equations within the family. She relates these trends to the spread of dowry, enforced widowhood and child marriage. The book provides insight into the lives of poor urban women who were often perceived as prostitutes or social pariahs. Even trade unions refused to address their problems and they remained on the margins of organized political protest. The study will make a signficant contribution to the understanding of the social and economic history of colonial India and to notions of gender construction.
Table of Contents
List of tables
Acknowledgements
List of acronyms and abbreviations
Glossary
Map: location of Jute mills along river Hooghly
Introduction
Migration, recruitment and labour control
-Will the land not be tilled?-: women-s work in the rural economy
-Away from homes-: women-s work in the mills
Motherhood, mothercraft and the Maternity Benefit Act
In temporary marriages: wives, widows and prostitutes
Working-class politics and women-s militancy
Select Bibliography
Index
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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