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Work by Andrea Komlosy
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Work by Andrea Komlosy
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Apr 30, 2024 | ISBN 9781786634139

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    Apr 30, 2024 | ISBN 9781786634139

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“Deeply researched, lucid and persuasive.”
—Joe Moran, Times Literary Supplement

“As Andrea Komlosy argues in Work: The Last 1,000 Years, our conception of what constitutes work has changed markedly over time. The professor of social history at the University of Vienna writes that our commonly accepted definitions are too narrow, too European, too male and too modern.”
—John Thornhill,Financial Times

“Capturing this churn [in both work itself and our ideas about it] is the difficult task that historian Andrea Komlosy attempts in her new book Work: The Last 1,000 Years … Komlosy attempts the monumental task of writing a large-scale global history of labor adequate to the growing instability in how we define and participate in work.”
—Gabriel Winant, Nation

“Komlosy’s analysis is a helpful reminder that our familiar understanding of work is narrow and historically exceptional. The hierarchy we have established in the industrialized West, placing permanent, full-time, legally contracted wage work at the top of a pyramid of social good, is deeply flawed—denigrating not only those millions who work outside its confines, but also devaluing and neglecting the kinds of nonwork activities that enrich and give meaning to human lives. By showing that ‘work’ may exist without wages, a boss or a workplace outside the home, Komlosy’s analysis allows us to think more broadly about what we value, and whether we want to continue to separate work and life.”
—Joanna Scutts, In These Times

“In Work, Komlosy, an economic and social history professor at the University of Vienna in Austria, provides a sweeping overview of how ideas and definitions about work have evolved over the last 1,000 years, calling out the very limited conception of work offered by traditional labor studies and Marxist perspectives … Komlosy’s book is ambitious in its brevity: she condenses a millennium of global history into just 225 pages, justifying her far-reaching geographic and historical scope as necessary for avoiding the Eurocentric and patriarchal biases in traditional conceptions of work.”
—Lauren Kaori Gurley, Indypendent

“Andrea Komlosy has written an important book on the global history of work during the past 800 years … she thinks about labour on a global scale, thus overcoming a deep Eurocentric bias in much of the labour history as it exists, and she brings feminist conversations on labour into an analysis of virtually all aspects of labour history. Her book is unique, I am not aware of any other such volume.”
—Sven Beckert

“Teeming with insights, from the contempt for manual labour in ancient Greece to the historical tendency for all kinds of subsistence tasks to be ‘housewife-ized’ into unpaid domestic labour.”
—Barbara Kiser, Nature

“Written in well-defined thematic sections that give the reader a thorough understanding of how labour as well as labour profiles have changed over the ages.”
Down To Earth

“The theoretical and historical scope of the book is impressive.”
Insight Turkey

“A fascinating book.”
—Laurie Taylor, Thinking Allowed

Table Of Contents


1 Terms and Concepts
2 Work Discourses
3 Work and Language
4 Categories of Analysis
5 Divisions of Labour: The Simultaneity and Combination of (Different) Labour Relations
6 Historical Cross-Sections
7 Combining Labour Relations in the Longue Durée

Appendix: A Lexical Comparison Across European Languages

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