Labour, gender, and de-industrialisation: women workers at Fiat (Italy, 1970s–1980s)

Bracke, M. A. (2019) Labour, gender, and de-industrialisation: women workers at Fiat (Italy, 1970s–1980s). Contemporary European History, 28(4), pp. 484-499. (doi: 10.1017/S0960777319000298)

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The article presents an in-depth analysis of the struggle for gender equality in hiring, as well as campaigns for parental leave and demands for improved work conditions, by female workers in manufacturing industry in 1970s–80s Italy. The case study is focused on Fiat in Turin, a highly significant site given its economic role in Italy and Europe, and its history of social conflict and radical workforce. Against the backdrop of dramatic changes in gender relations since the 1960s, ongoing industrial unrest since 1968 and the introduction of new gender-equality legislation, fatefully coinciding with the onset of deindustrialisation and the rise of unemployment in manufacturing, trade union feminism presented an original and, viewed in hindsight, highly significant agenda. The events in Fiat demonstrate the extent to which new demands and ideas regarding the value of women's work became acceptable in the workers’ movement and in society at large, but also reveal the obstacles which the feminist politics of work encountered, and the persistence of gender-based prejudice in understandings of the value of work in all its forms. The analysis is based on archive material, press and original interviews.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Bracke, Professor Maud
Authors: Bracke, M. A.
College/School:College of Arts & Humanities > School of Humanities > History
Journal Name:Contemporary European History
Publisher:Cambridge University Press
ISSN (Online):1469-2171
Published Online:31 October 2019

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