This Special Section of the History of the Family results from a workshop of the Global Collaboratory on the History of Labour Relations I co-organized with Karin Hofmeester and Jan Kok in Amsterdam, December 2014. It examined the role of changes in family and demography in effecting shifts in labour relations. Four papers were finally brought together for this issue. Mary Louise Nagata takes a long-term approach and explores the relationship between marriage systems, family firms and labour relations in Kyoto, focusing on the seventeenth to nineteenth centuries, but with an eye for earlier developments. Corinne Boter shows how norms and values about married women’s work and the ideal of domesticity were embraced by working families in Dutch industrializing regions around 1890 and how – at the same time – many women did perform gainful work, more than the censuses reveal and also more than previous scholars accounted for. Cristina Borderías and Llorenç Ferrer-Alos analyse the position of the female members of stem families in rural industrial areas in Catalonia from 1900 to 1936. Their conclusion is that the stem family and its female wage labour supply stimulated, instead of hampered, industrial development in this region. Finally, Conchi Villar investigates female wage workers in Barcelona from 1930 to 1950, looking at family or household strategies, but also at the demand side of the industry that was booming in this period. She concludes that the ages of women, the number of children they had and more generally the composition of the household and family strategies for the distribution of productive and reproductive reciprocal work, determined whether married women worked for wages in the factories or not.
See for the introduction to the Special Section by the guest editors: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/1081602X.2016.1271993