Lecture: Maria Ågren: Service, Help and Delegation: Labor Relations in the Past, 18.06.2019, Vienna

Veranstaltung der Reihe wisoabendkolloquium des Instituts für Wirtschafts- und Sozialgeschichte (Web)

Time: 18.06.2019, 18.00-20.00 Uhr
Venue: Universität Wien, Universitätsring 1, WISO Seminarraum, Stiege 6, 2. Stock, Obergeschoß

  • Moderation: Margareth Lanzinger

Maria Ågren is professor at Department of History at the Uppsala Universitet in Sweden (Web). In this talk she will take as its point of departure the Gender and Work project and the type of data the project collects with the help of the verb-oriented method.
This method allows us to catch information on the concrete practices of work that early modern people engaged in, as described in e.g. court records. Examples of such practices are ‘mow grass’, ‘repair shoes’, ‘paint portrait’, ‘collect tax money’, and they can be grouped into larger categories of work, such as ‘agriculture’, ‘crafts’ , and ‘administrative work’. (Ågren, ed., Making a Living, Making a Difference, OUP 2017)
However, other types of verb-phrases also get stuck in our ‘net,’ namely phrases that describe not what the work consisted in but for whom and under what conditions work took place. These are phrases such as ‘to serve’, ‘to help’ and ‘to have someone do something’. We cannot easily group these phrases into the larger categories because they do not describe types of work. Instead, they describe labor relations. What is particularly interesting about them is that they are people’s own descriptions of the labor relations in which they were involved.
In her presentation, Maria Ågren will focus on the latter type of observations, how we have handled them in the project and what this type of data can tell us about early modern labor relations.