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Industrialization, Family Life, And Class Relations: Saint Chamond, 1815-1914
by Elinor Ann Accampo
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In this provocative study, Elinor Accampo explores the interrelationship between the structure of work and strategies of family formation in Saint Chamond, a French city that underwent intensive industrialization during the nineteenth century. Through a detailed analysis of fertility, mortality, marriages, and migration, the author analyzes the ways in which the family responded to changes in the organization of work. In the first half of the nineteenth century work was in the home, and families tended to be large in order to meet the demand for workers. But by the 1860s the mechanization of labor had begun to separate family life and work life, fundamentally transforming the relationship between work and family and making the survival of the working-class family more difficult. Accampo argues that workers began to have smaller families much earlier than has previously been suggested, and she demonstrates that fertility declined for reasons unique to working-class conditions. This decline in family size, and the context in which it took place, provides fascinating new material for understanding the working class world and the dynamics of class relations.
From the Inside Flap
"One of the most original and exciting studies in nineteenth-century French working-class history that I have read in years. Accampo's scholarship is breathtaking, and her grasp, incorporation, and criticism of relevant secondary literature is faultless."--Christopher Johnson, Wayne State University
"[Accampo's] analysis and interpretations of quantitative material are sophisticated and convincing. Students of social history, labor history, modern France, and women's history will welcome this book."--Lenard R. Berlanstein, University of Virginia
From the Back Cover
"One of the most original and exciting studies in nineteenth- century French working-class history that I have read in years. Accampo's scholarship is breathtaking, and her grasp, incorporation, and criticism of relevant secondary literature is faultless." (Christopher Johnson, Wayne State University)
About the Author
Elinor Accampo is Assistant Professor of History at the University of Southern California.
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