This book provides the first history of how we have imagined and used time since 1700. It traces the history of the relationship between work and leisure, from the 'leisure preference' of male workers in the eighteenth century, through the increase in working hours in the later eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, to their progressive decline from 1830 to 1970. It examines how trade union action was critical in achieving the decline; how class structured the experience of leisure; how male identity was shaped by both work and leisure; how, in a society that placed high value on work, a 'leisured class' was nevertheless at the apex of political and social power – until it became thought of as 'the idle rich'. Coinciding with the decline in working hours, two further tranches of time were marked out as properly without work: childhood and retirement. By the mid-twentieth century married men had achieved a work- leisure balance. In the 1960s and 1970s it was argued that leisure time would increase at a rapid rate. This false prediction coincided with the entry of married women into the labour market and a halt to the decline in working hours and in sectors of the economy a reversal of it. These two developments radically changed the experience of time and thinking about it. Time became equated with achieving a 'work-life balance' where 'life' was often unpaid childcare and domestic work.
This book challenges influential accounts about gender and the novel by revealing the complex ways in which labour informed the lives and writing of a number of middling and genteel women authors publishing between 1750 and 1830. It provides a seam of texts for exploring the vexed relationship between gender, work and writing. The four chapters that follow contain contextualised case studies of the treatment of manual, intellectual and domestic labour in the work and careers of Sarah Scott, Charlotte Smith, Mary Wollstonecraft and women applicants to the writers' charity, the Literary Fund. By making women's work visible in our studies of female-authored fiction of the period, the book reveals the crucial role that these women played in articulating debates about the gendered division of labour, the (in)compatibility of women's domestic and professional lives, and the status and true value of women's work, which shaped eighteenth-century culture as surely as they do our own.
This book presents new theories and international empirical evidence on the state of work and employment around the world. Changes in production systems, economic conditions and regulatory conditions are posing new questions about the growing use by employers of precarious forms of work, the contradictory approaches of governments towards employment and social policy, and the ability of trade unions to improve the distribution of decent employment conditions. Designed as a tribute to the highly influential contributions of Jill Rubery, the book proposes a ‘new labour market segmentation approach’ for the investigation of issues of job quality, employment inequalities, and precarious work. This approach is distinctive in seeking to place the changing international patterns and experiences of labour market inequalities in the wider context of shifting gender relations, regulatory regimes and production structures.
The book is about the changing nature of work and employment relations power. It
is directed at those who are activists or supporters of goals for a better and
more equitable working life, including students, policy makers, trade unionists
and CSO/NGO activists. The book engages with competing debates and perspectives
about labour agency, examining inter alia the power of the nation state, issues
of bogus self-employment and the gig economy, and the inequalities from market
reform and globalisation. The book supports a range of modes of student
learning, including courses for trade union and community groups. Its contents
cover the employment contract, the power of the state, technology and work,
globalisation, employee voice and union mobilisation, worker voices beyond the
workplace, the future of work and the goals towards a ‘decent’ work agenda.
Towards ‘work–life balance’
rom the mid-nineteenth century it became common to think of time as
being divided between work and leisure. To do this, however, was to see
the world through the eyes of men. Women, whether or not they were in
paid employment, had very little sense of time being so neatly divided into
work and leisure. Work provided the dominant motif of their lives, and there
was no time on the clock when it began or ended. Life was task-oriented,
and there were always tasks to be done.
In the twentieth century there were fundamental changes in
This book explores the class experiences of white workers in Southern Rhodesia. Interest in white identity, power and privilege has grown since struggles over white land ownership in Zimbabwe in the early 2000s, yet research has predominately focused on middle-class and rural whites. By critically building upon whiteness literature developed in the United States and synthesising theories of race, class and gender within a critical Marxist framework, this book considers the ways in which racial supremacy and white identity were forged and contested by lower-class whites. It demonstrates how settler anxieties over hegemonic notions of white femininity and masculinity, white poverty, Coloureds, Africans and ‘undesirable’ non-British whites were rooted in class experience and significantly contributed to dominant white worker political ideologies and self-understandings. Based on original research conducted in the United Kingdom, South Africa and Zimbabwe, this book also explores how white workers used notions of ‘white work’ and white ‘standards of living’ to mark out racial boundaries. In doing so the author demonstrates how the worlds of work were embedded in the production of social identities and structural inequalities as well as how class interacted and intersected with other identities and oppressions. This book will be of interest to undergraduates and academics of gender, labour, race and class in African and imperial and colonial history, the history of emotions and settler colonial studies.
Labour, narrative and community in the novels of Sarah Scott
The ‘gift’ of work: labour, narrative
and community in the novels of
What I understand by society is a state of mutual confidence, reciprocal
services, and correspondent affections; where numbers are thus united,
there will be a free communication of sentiments, and we shall then find
speech, that peculiar blessing given to man, a valuable gift indeed; but
when we see it restrained by suspicion, or contaminated by detraction, we
This book is a history of the British Musicians’ Union (MU) from its origins in 1893 to 2013. It uses the Union as a prism through which to examine changes in musicians’ working lives, the industries they work in and wider British society. It argues that musicians can best be considered as particular sorts of worker and that while the MU’s history has hitherto largely been ignored or marginalised, it has much to teach us about musicians, their working lives and the power dynamics of the music industries.
Men, work and leisure,
ime spent at work, daily, weekly, annually, declined over the period 1850
to 1970. Correspondingly, time for leisure increased. At a simple level
this suggests a consistent preference for leisure time over work time. Other
factors, however, affected the balance of how time was spent: concerns about
employment opportunities and threats to them; rising standards of living;
changes in the nature of work; a huge expansion of leisure facilities. Between
them work time and leisure time gave men a sense of who they were, of their
Geoffrey Hill’s work from 1996 to 2016 is a distinct phase and a development from his earlier work. This later phase is instigated by a divergence from T.S. Eliot and by Hill’s critiques of such modernist poets as W.B. Yeats and Ezra Pound, along with an abiding commitment to modernist claims about poetry. Hill’s divergence from these figures takes the form of a strenuous re-reading of modernism and its legacies, and at its heart is a close engagement with the work of F.H. Bradley, the philosopher on whom Eliot wrote his doctoral dissertation. The poetry and criticism of this period is energised by a perplexed commitment to being and an attendant sense of swimming against the stream of the “stridently post-cultural” postmodern moment in which this work takes its place. The philosophical notion of “intrinsic value” is accordingly central to this later work, as is the cultural-political sense of this period being one of “plutocratic anarchy”. The political place of poetry, and what this book in its final chapter terms the political imagination, is a crucial element in the later work, and is placed in the context of such figures as Coleridge, Wordsworth, Ruskin, Shakespeare and Dante. The cultural politics at the heart of Hill’s later achievement is also explored, drawing on the work of George Steiner, Gabriel Marcel, and Noam Chomsky, among others, along with his controversial commitment to the right of art to be difficult and his assertion that such difficulty is truly democratic.