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Global Labour History

A State of the Art

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Jan Lucassen

The recent wave of globalization has a profound impact on labour. Consequently, research in the field of labour and working-class history has become less Eurocentric and more global over the last twenty years. Outstanding specialists take stock of the globalization of the field in eighteen essays. Two introductory essays discuss the theoretical consequences of this development as well as the early historiography of labour and working-class history. Next, ten essays provide an exceptionally complete coverage of recent historiographical trends in the labour history of Western Europe, Eastern Europe, North America, South America, Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, China, Japan, and Australasia. Finally, six case studies research worldwide and comparative aspects of global labour history, developing best practices in this new and difficult field. They include a wide variety of occupations and economic sectors: agricultural labour, domestic labour, brick making, coal mining and the work done in the docks and on the railways on different continents.
Contents: Jan Lucassen: Introduction – Marcel van der Linden: The «Globalization» of Labour and Working-Class History and its Consequences – Jan Lucassen: Writing Global Labour History c. 1800-1940: A Historiography of Concepts, Periods, and Geographical Scope – Frederick Cooper: African Labor History – Zachary Lockman: Reflections on Labor and Working-Class History in the Middle East and North Africa – Sabyasachi Bhattacharya: Paradigms in the Historical Approach to Labour Studies on South Asia – Akira Suzuki: The History of Labor in Japan in the Twentieth Century: Cycles of Activism and Acceptance – Bryan D. Palmer: Fin-de-Siècle Labour History in Canada and the United States: A Case for Tradition – Dick Geary: Labour in Western Europe from c. 1800 – John D. French: The Laboring and Middle-Class Peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean: Historical Trajectories and New Research Directions – Lucy Taksa: What’s in a Name? Labouring Antipodean History in Oceania – Arif Dirlik: Workers, Class, and the Socialist Revolution in Modern China – Andrei Sokolov: The Drama of the Russian Working Class and New Perspectives for Labour History in Russia – Prasannan Parthasarathi: Agricultural Labor and Property: A Global and Comparative Perspective – Ratna Saptari: Studying Asian Domestic Labour Within Global Processes: Comparisons and Connections – Jan Lucassen: Brickmakers in Western Europe (1700-1900) and Northern India (1800-2000): Some Comparisons – Ian Phimister: Global Labour History in the Twenty-First Century: Coal Mining and Its Recent Pasts – Lex Heerma van Voss: «Nothing to Lose but a Harsh and Miserable Life Here on Earth»: Dock Work as a Global Occupation, 1790-1970 – Shelton Stromquist: Railroad Labor and the Global Economy: Historical Patterns.