|Families under pressure : women work and male work in the household economy in Turin, 18th century|
|This paper aims to describe strategies, and professional paths (specifically in crafts) of individuals and families interesting in processes of settlement in preindustrial Turin (especially in XVIIIth century). What does work mean in a preindustrial society? And what people have to do to settle and to get a job in the city? My paper will argue that mobility and stability were the main features of work in preindustrial city.
In the first part of my paper I’ll present and describe features of job in European preindustrial cities. Scholars who studied “work” traditionally focused on guilds archives and underlined stability and continuity of work in the artisan ateliers. This historiography let in the shadow some interesting social phenomena, moreover the instable nature of relation between professional and personal paths of artisans in the city. Nonetheless, time and way of exercising crafts, individual and family life-cycle, as well as the high rates of geographical mobility of the population were determinant factors in shaping relationship between workers and their job.
At the same time, in preindustrial city work was influenced by seasonal, fashion and economical fluctuations, so it was not stable and durable during the individual’s life; people needed to change work, to get several works and occupation that could be exchanged and modified
In the second part, my paper will point out the importance for individuals to be part of a stable social network. Indeed, migrant workers interesting in settling in the city and in establishing a family needed to insert themselves in a stable and local social network. So, migrants, looking for resources and help by the institutions, were concerned in demonstrate their insertion and stability in the city, their good reputation as good citizens and workers.|