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This chapter explores the close, if often vexed, relationship between the novel and the Republic towards the end of the nineteenth century. It examines how the dominant aesthetic of prose fiction in this period, naturalism, framed itself as an ally of democracy – most directly with its expansion of the novel’s horizons to include, and do justice to, the experience, idiom, and political claims of the working classes. The political use of the naturalist novel as a critical document of social life resided, as Émile Zola saw it, precisely in its declared objectivity. But the form of naturalist fiction produced more contradictions than its theory allowed. This chapter returns the evolution of the naturalist novel to its political context, while tracking the rise of its rival forms (Symbolist and Decadent literature; the psychological novel), which often repudiated those central tenets of the Republic: positivism, scientism, democracy, anti-clericalism. Maurice Barrès and Paul Bourget scrutinised the academic and intellectual principles of a generation schooled by the Third Republic, in ways which offered an alternative pedagogy. By the time of the Dreyfus Affair, the novel had become a prime vehicle for conflicting ideological visions of a nation that was increasingly divided against itself.
Until recently, Zimbabwean insolvency law was unconcerned with rights of employees on insolvency of the employer. The new Insolvency Act points in a different direction. It guarantees limited rights of workers in their capacity as creditors and as employees. There is a convergence of insolvency law and labour law. These are legal disciplines with contradictory philosophies. This contribution analyses the rights of employees on insolvency in Zimbabwe. The review is informed by international best practices. The article establishes that Zimbabwe follows the “model two: bankruptcy preference approach”. It brings to the fore fundamental weaknesses inherent with this approach in the Zimbabwean context. The article argues that the protection of employees’ rights on insolvency can be enhanced if Zimbabwe follows the “pro-employee approach” and the “bankruptcy priority-guarantee fund approach”. It concludes by advocating for the alignment of the Insolvency Act with international best practices, the constitution and labour legislation.
This chapter examines calls to end work, contextualising contemporary understandings of sex work in light of recent developments in labour studies. Using texts from gender and sexuality studies, sex worker activism, and materialist feminism, we insist upon the importance of factoring sex work into postwork perspectives, whilst critiquing the stakes involved in feminist drives to abolish sex work. We examine sex worker demands for improved working conditions; the dangers criminalisation and abolitionism pose to sex worker rights, health and safety; the role of helping professions in displacing sex workers into ‘reputable’ forms of labour; and their focus upon abolishing sex work in particular rather than the interrogation of work in general. We argue that sex worker activists, who advocate for decriminalisation and destigmatisation, display a more sophisticated and critical approach to work than sex work abolitionists. The goal of sex worker advocacy is not to reify work, but rather to make visible under-recognised labour as part of a longer-term project to resist it. The recognition that sex work is work demands to be seen, not as an endpoint, but as a lever.
This chapter investigates the social, political and environmental characteristics and impacts of food and farming in the current era of neoliberal globalization. Drawing from environmental sociology, political economy and political ecology, we consider the ways that problems with capital, labour and land intersect with ecological constraints (such as climate change and declining fossil fuels). Productivist agriculture, industrialisation, supermarketization and financialization have contributed to the demise of local food systems, the promotion of ‘obesogenic’ diets, the creation of food waste and the global ‘land rush’, with implications for both the natural environment and for deteriorating conditions for labour. Farmers have shifted from feeding nations to producing for a global economy in which food is overproduced while global hunger increases. These contradictions have prompted significant social, political, and financial struggles. Multiple ‘neoliberalisms’ have therefore emerged, and neoliberal food and farming is highly contested. The chapter concludes with a discussion of alter-globalization; an alternative to neoliberal globalization that challenges the notion of capitalist growth, highlights limits to consumption, and largely rejects market solutions to environmental problems. The right to food, ‘food sovereignty’, redistributive land reform, smallholder and family farming, de-corporatization, agro-ecology and improved democracy are discussed as key elements informing critique and resistance.
This chapter considers the concept of emotional labour in relation to Shakespearean drama. Emotional labour, a term coined by the sociologist Arlie Hochschild in her pioneering study of flight attendants, describes the skilled management of feeling by service and care workers. The concept has recent been taken up by critics of Shakespeare to characterise the work of the theatre in manipulating the emotions of its audience, a natural development given that theorists like Hochschild were themselves inspired by work on the performing arts. Against conceptions of emotional labour as evanescent and lacking in surplus value, the chapter argues that the emotional work of the stage has enduring effects on the bearing and sensibilities of its audience. Through readings of metatheatrical moments in Shakespeare’s Hamlet and Ben Jonson’s Every Man Out of His Humour, it contends that early modern plays were not only concerned with the expression and solicitation of emotion: they also explicitly sought to condition the emotional practice of their spectators.
This chapter aims to establish a lower limit to the possible extent of horizontal specialization in the economy of classical Athens; in other words, the minimum plausible number of specialized jobs to do with production, exchange, and services. This exercise shows that even with a mindset sceptical to the idea of specialization, there cannot realistically have been fewer than 162 specialized full-time occupations in classical Attica. This demonstrates the complexity and dynamism of the classical Athenian economy.
Slavery casts a long shadow over American history; despite the cataclysmic changes of the Civil War and emancipation, the United States carried antebellum notions of slavery into its imperial expansion at the turn of the twentieth-century. African American, Chinese and other immigrant labourers were exploited in the name of domestic economic development, and overseas, local populations were made into colonial subjects of America. How did the U.S. deal with the paradox of presenting itself as a global power which abhorred slavery, while at the same time failing to deal with forced labour at home? Catherine Armstrong argues that this was done with rhetorical manoeuvres around the definition of slavery. Drawing primarily on representations of slavery in American print culture, this study charts how definitions and depictions of slavery both changed and stayed the same as the nation became a prominent actor on the world stage. In doing so, Armstrong challenges the idea that slavery is a merely historical problem, and shows its relevance in the contemporary world.
This chapter focuses on skill, and considers how the sixteenth-century imperial kiln administrators managed their workforce. Skilled craftsmen were in high demand, but they were difficult to control. Most of the workers were mobile; they could take their labour to the imperial kiln, but also find work in the private kilns. The repeated attempts of the kiln administrators to identify skilled workers and bind them to the imperial kilns, and their ongoing expressions of concern over the issue of skilled labour underscore how difficult it was to get hold of good craftsmen. Circulation and mobility characterized the workers' presence in Jingdezhen. The more goods and people circulated and flowed between the various spaces, the more the adminstrators sought to assert their control over it those flows, and the wider the discrepancies between the written representations of the idealized circumstances the administrators envisioned and the actual patterns of movement and flow of resources and skills. Ultimately, the kiln administrators had to reconcile themselves to their inability in asserting control over the labour force. Material and human resources were fluid and flowed relatively freely through the mazelike veins of the Jingdezhen network.
This chapter examines the critique of the production of affect advanced by a range of thinkers in the Marxist tradition, above all, Theodor Adorno, but also including Herbert Marcuse, Raymond Williams, and E. P. Thompson. It focuses in particular on what Adorno describes as the ‘diversionary function’ of ostensibly positive affective states – especially what he calls ‘fun’, a multiply freighted word, as the chapter shows – and asks what it means to categorise such states as ‘false’. The degree to which affective states are open to misinterpretation by those undergoing them is, therefore, a central question in this chapter. Drawing on Keston Sutherland’s recent emphasis on the role of disgust in Marx’s satirical account of capitalist production, the chapter will in conclusion emphasise the affective charge of the Marxist critique of affect itself.
Much theatrical work that calls itself ‘immersive’ uses tropes of the erotic to achieve its intended effects. In this article Rose Biggin identifies structural and performative strategies in the use of the erotic in this genre. What does it mean to identify the process of performed seduction as central to much immersive dramaturgy? Through readings of contemporary productions that draw upon (or appropriate) pre-existing erotically charged environments, the inevitable responsibilities for makers working in this context of immersion are considered, as is the importance of considering the consequences for those working in immersive spaces. Stress is laid on the crucial role that this form of performative labour often plays in immersive performance, and a continued recognition of its influence is emphasized. Rose Biggin is an independent scholar and theatre artist based in London. She received her PhD from the University of Exeter, researching audience immersion and the work of Punchdrunk, and both writes and makes work on gender, history, and language. She is author of Immersive Theatre and Audience Experience (2017).
Based on prosecution data for the period 1600–1900, this chapter re-assesses existing literature to stress the importance of discontinuity and variations in female crime rates in Europe. Women’s share among criminal offenders was not static and even reached significant levels throughout the early modern period. This chapter identifies five contextual factors as having an influence on female crime rates: urbanisation, moral norms, legal norms, family systems and living standards. With regard to the nineteenth century, it suggests that the link between industrialisation, removal from the labour market and the decline of female crime rates was by no means clear. On the contrary, it seems that the rising living standards and the development of the welfare state in Europe had a greater impact on female crime rates than a hypothetic confinement to the house.
The story of the Australian light vehicle industry from the very first developments before World War I, through the era of importing vehicles, the imposition of import controls, the decision to create a fully fledged automotive industry, its growth, decline and end, as it lost control of its domestic market and never achieved sufficient export volumes in compensation. The principal reason for its demise is identified as lack of sufficient scale, compared to the global giants, rather than external factors such as labour costs. The impact of its going on the balance of trade and employment is identified as relatively modest. Some unrealistic proposals for reviving it are dismissed.
Often associated with urban institutions as coffeehouses and learned societies, the Enlightenment included fascination with outsiders – wild men, feral children, shipwrecked solitaries and local savages, or rustics. The long eighteenth-century theatre showcases this interest in “local savagery” in particular through a huge expansion in the number of plays set in spas, villages and country estates. These plays expand the collective vision of the nation, often celebrating the countryside as the green heart of England, the site of immemorial rights and model of social harmony. Just as frequently however, this pastoral image is threatened or subverted by Irish or labouring-class writers such as Robert Dodsley and Oliver Goldsmith, who highlight the local injustice and imperial violence that holds the rural (and national) hierarchy in place. This chapter maps rural dramaturgy from the Restoration forward to reveal these conflicting representational strategies, as Whigs and Tories fought to claim the nation’s heartland as the symbolic ground of political legitimacy and were followed by increasingly radical outliers whose view of rural society was considerably more critical.
Transnational social movements are social organisations and processes that reach across borders to unite social movements. They are a likely platform for civil resistance, understood as organised but non-violent resistance to injustice that steps outside the realm of accepted political discourse. This is highly contextual. The labour movement in the Global North, for example, does not regularly engage in civil resistance because it operates within liberal democratic norms, while in the Global South trade unionism often carries with it extreme risks.
Transnational social movements are potential sources of solidarity amongst the global poor. This because they generate solidarity amongst distant strangers. This is not solidarity derived from abstract political principles, but derived from the shared experience of oppression. This shared experience need not be uniform; it is necessarily diverse.
The chapter looks at two test cases, the labour movement and indigenous rights movement, as examples of just-seeking and injustice-evading resistance. It concludes by examining criticism that civil resistance does not capture the urgency of global poverty.
Chapter 1 sets out the project of the book: to understand how medieval lords came to be able to appropriate the labour of peasants, something that was not fully achieved until after the Norman Conquest. This chronology can partly be explained by the fact that the rural economy of Anglo-Saxon England, which produced little surplus, imposed restraints on the extent to which lords were able to exploit peasants. While those working on the ‘inlands’, the most highly exploited sectors of lordships, were virtual serfs, the peasantry of the ‘warland’ which owed public burdens, were free members of the polity. The book suggests that changes in this situation can be sought in the ‘moral economy’. This term, used by Edward Thompson and James Scott , stands for the structure of values which all members of a society believed should govern their dealings with one another. Rank, reciprocity and reputation are selected as particularly important values and the chapter outlines how they will be followed up. The concepts of ‘peasants’, ‘feudal’ and ‘feudal revolution’ are discussed with reference to the work of Susan Reynolds and Chris Wickham and the chapter ends with remarks on the cultural context of some of our most trusted works of reference: dictionaries.
This chapter argues that reciprocity was built into the moral economy of the family farm. It is central to the moral economy of the peasant household that its members constitute the labour force for the farm. Without the produce of the farm the household would starve, without the work of the household the farm could not produce food. Households of all kinds centred on hearths. Having a hearth of one’s own was a crucial signifier of status: to be ‘hearth-fast’ entitled a person, however poor, to a place in the public world and subject to its obligations. The hearth, with its fire alight, was long taken to symbolise the ownership of land and to bring entitlement to a share in one of the most valuable resources of a rural community: rights to pasture and the family farm was the basis of the measuring unit the ‘hide’. The domestic economy had its own hierarchy in which a lord is a hlaford a ‘loaf-keeper’, a lady a hlædige , a ‘loaf-kneader’and to be someone’s ‘loaf-eater’ was to be their dependant, but one with an entitlement to protection: such people were the ‘boarders’, the bordarii , of Domesday Book. Passing on the farm within the family was as vital to peasant society as inheriting family land was to the elite.
At a general level of neoliberal repudiation or expansion of social policies, most post-neoliberal Latin American governments in the 2000s have exhibited similarities. However, coalitions with popular actors have displayed a lot of variation. In order to compare popular-sector coalitions the article constructs a framework with two central dimensions: electoral and organisational/interest; in post-import substitution industrialisation (ISI) Latin America the latter is composed of both unions and territorial social movements (TSMs). It contends that the region witnessed four types of popular coalitions: electoral (Ecuador and Chile), TSM-based (i.e. made up of informal sector-based organisations, Venezuela and Bolivia), dual (i.e. composed of both unions and TSMs, Argentina and Brazil) and union/party-based (Uruguay). The study argues that government–union coalitions are largely accounted for by the relative size of the formal economy, and by the institutional legacies of labour based-parties. Coalitions with informal sector-based organisations are rooted in the political activation of these TSMs during the anti-neoliberal struggles of the 1990s and early 2000s.