If Eight Hours Seem Too Few: Mobilization of Women Workers in the Italian Rice Fields

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SUNY Press, 1991 - Business & Economics - 396 pages
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This book is the first to present a vivid and accurate picture of the thousands of women who worked weeding the rice fields in northern Italy during the early part of the nineteenth century. It explores a wide range of issues including the political, economic, and social history of Italy; labor legislation; the role of the judicial system; the sexual division of labor; family structure; class conflict between the rural proletariat and the politically influential capitalist farmers; work-related diseases; internal migration of labor; and child labor.

The author provides penetrating insights into the Socialist Party's efforts to wrest women workers from the influence of the Catholic Church; the history of Italian feminism and the campaign for the vote; and finally, the workers' opposition to Italy's entrance into World War I. She analyzes the weeders' relations with labor organizers; their desire to preserve their autonomy; and their decisions regarding labor actions; and she highlights similarities between the weeders' experiences and those of other women workers and labor organizers in Europe and the U. S..
 

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Contents

The Formation of a Female Labor Force in the Rice Fields
1
Weeders Lives
34
The Early Stages of Mobilization Protest Actions Socialist Propaganda and the Weeders Response in 1901
61
The First Results of Mobilization
100
Years of Progress Years of Action 19036
130
Holding the Line 190710
167
Withstanding Agrarian Militancy and Wars 191115
204
Weeders Consciousness as Women and Workers
244
Conclusion
279
Notes
283
Bibliography
357
Index
379
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