From 1500 to 1650 many societies underwent profound social and economic change. As market economies developed and regions became interconnected, labour relations were transformed alongside ideas about work. Until now, these perceptions of work have rarely been studied from a global perspective, even though their analysis would help us to understand the nature and consequences of shifts in global labour relations. This volume focuses on perceptions of work world-wide and explores how ideas about working (and not working) evolved over time in the early modern period. Contributions analyse central texts containing perceptions of work, terms and concepts that express 'work', the ranking of occupations, and ideas about 'just' wages and forms of remuneration. They show, too, how gender, age, and ethnic or religious background determined who could do what work and how these ideas were transformed in particular societies and communities, either independently or in response to a transcontinental market.
General introduction Christine Moll Murata and Karin Hofmeester; Part I. Theory: 1. Towards a global history of work ethics, 1500-1650: some preliminaries Marcel van der Linden; Part II. Europe: 2. Gender norms and work roles Ariadne Schmidt; 3. Between sin and salvation, the seventeenth-century Dutch artisan Pieter Plockhoy and his ethics of work ca.1650: text by artisan on utopian community Henk Looijesteijn; 4. Work, commerce and wages: looking for labour ideologies in early modern Italy (1500-1650) Luca Mocarelli; 5. The just wage in early modern Italy: a reflection on Zacchia's 'De Salario seu Operaiorum Mercede' Andrea Caracausi; 6. Religious aspects of labour ethics in medieval and early modern Russia Arkady Tarasov; Part III. Islamic World/Ottoman Empire: 7. Cairo in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries Nora Lafi; 8. Jewish ethics on women's work in the late medieval Islamic world: Maimonides versus social practice Karin Hofmeester.