Despite its decline throughout the advanced industrial nations, child labor remains one of the major social, political, and economic concerns of modern history, as witnessed by the many high-profile stories on child labor and sweatshops in the media today. This work considers the issue in three parts. The first section discusses child labor as a social and economic problem in America from an historical and theoretical perspective. The second part presents child labor as National Child Labor Committee investigators found it in major American industries and occupations, including coal mines, cotton textile mills, and sweatshops in the early 1900s. Finally, the concluding section integrates these findings and attempts to apply them to child labor problems in America and the rest of the world today.
Part I. The Child Labor Problem; 1. Child Labor as a Social and Economic Problem; 2. Industrialization of Child Labor; 3. Child Labor Reform; Part II. Child Labor in America; 4. Children in the Coal Mines; 5. Light Manufacturing: Children in the Glass-Houses; 6. Cotton Textiles: The Herod of Industries; 7. The Sweatshops and Industrial Homework; 8. The Street Trades; 9. Children in Agriculture and Food Processing; Part III. Child Labor's Legacy; 10. America and Child Labor Today; 11. Global Child Labor: Past as Prologue