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Title: Labour, nature, and exploitation: Social metabolism and inequality in a farming community in mid‐19th century Catalonia
Author: Marco Lafuente, Inés
Padró i Caminal, Roc
Tello, Enric
Keywords: Productivitat agrícola
Història econòmica
Sòls agrícoles
Sociologia rural
Organització del treball
Agricultural productivity
Economic history
Rural land use
Rural sociology
Methods engineering
Issue Date: Jul-2020
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Abstract: Exploiting the labour of other people has historically been one of the main strategies to tackle the biophysical tension that always exists between the satisfaction of human needs and the labour required to fulfil them. Based on the insights of ecological, feminist, and Marxist economics, we disentangle the exploitation of the labour of women and labouring poor through a novel methodology that integrates energy, material, time, and cash balances. We apply it to the sociometabolic flows between household units endowed with different land and livestock resources in a traditional rural community in Catalonia (Spain) in the mid‐19th century. The results show that land and livestock hoarding led to a process of accumulation through dispossession that increased the exploitative relationships through the labour market, which in turn relied on the patriarchal division of labour between men and women at home. Our estimates of energy labour surplus reveal that male wages represented 88% of the equivalent consumption basket that would have been obtained by carrying out the same amount of labour on land of one's own. However, in the case of female wages, the percentage was 54%. This shows that wage labour incorporated a significant amount of unpaid domestic family labour.
Note: Versió postprint del document publicat a:
It is part of: Journal of Agrarian Change, 2020, vol. 20, num. 3, p. 408-436
Related resource:
ISSN: 1471-0358
Appears in Collections:Articles publicats en revistes (Història Econòmica, Institucions, Política i Economia Mundial)

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