Childhood and Child Labour in the British Industrial by Jane Humphries

By Jane Humphries

This can be a distinctive account of working-class youth in the course of the British business revolution. utilizing greater than six hundred autobiographies written by way of operating males of the eighteenth and 19th centuries Jane Humphries illuminates working-class formative years in contexts untouched through traditional assets and enables estimates of age at beginning paintings, social mobility, the level of apprenticeship, and the length of education. The vintage period of industrialization, 1790-1850, it seems that observed an upsurge in baby labour. whereas the memoirs implicate mechanization and the department of labour during this elevate, additionally they exhibit that fatherlessness and massive sibsets, universal in those turbulent, high-mortality, and high-fertility occasions, usually forged kids as companions and helps for moms suffering to carry households jointly. The publication deals extraordinary insights into baby labour, relations lifestyles, careers, and education. Its photographs of pain, stoicism, and low infantile pleasures placed the humanity again into financial heritage and the trauma again into the economic revolution.

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Example text

In fact, the inspiration for the inclusion of social norms in the basic model was historical. Zelizer (1985) argued that in the past, observers often commended child labour as character building rather than condemned it as exploitative. Exogenous changes in social norms might then contribute to a movement from a bad equilibrium with child labour to a good equilibrium without child labour or vice versa. Support for such hypotheses depends on identifying shifts in standards from treacherous material on parental behaviour.

Howard (1995) shows that the autobiographies of miners have common structures, preoccupations, styles and motivations, which cast light on their specific occupational community, but he agrees with Vincent in preferring to treat them as literary texts: ‘It is not by adding, subtracting or dividing that we can learn from texts’ but by the identification of common literary characteristics that reveal occupational solidarities and shared ideals (Howard, 1995, p. 92). The autobiographers obviously do not constitute a random sample of early industrial workers.

Many authors exhibited little familiarity with formal rules of spelling and grammar. They wrote as they spoke, though it did not impair communication. Most writers, especially those whose work was neither published nor indeed intended for publication, were unfamiliar with composition. 7 7 These are Hugh – (an anonymous journeyman baker), William Arnold, Harry Carter, Samuel Catton, Martin Douglas, George Edwards, Walter Freer, G. (Prisoner Set 22 Childhood and Child Labour If literacy was perhaps not such a hurdle to inclusion, on closer investigation motivation was also less selective (see Vincent, 1981).

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