India's Labouring Poor - Historical Studies c.1600 - c.2000
New Delhi : Cambridge University Press India Pvt. Ltd., 2007. ISBN 978-81-7596-496-9, 292 pp.
Recent years have witnessed a renewed interest in the historical studies of labour in India and other parts of the world. Apart from the study of the industrial workforce, labour history has been enriched by the scholarly attention to migratory mobile labour, lives of artisans, women and peasant migrants to plantations within India and overseas. Earlier the major emphasis of labour history research was on the core countries such as US, Canada, Europe and Japan. Now research on the labour history of the capitalist peripheries is growing and is increasingly attracting international scholarship.
An urgent need is felt for reconstituting the older frameworks which had revolved around fixed binaries of space, time and social relations. Labour historians have to increasingly contend with the existing notions of "pre-modern" and modern, free/unfree, formal/informal forms of labour and relations and traditional spatial divisions such as the factory and the field, urban and rural etc. This volume seeks to consolidate and showcase the best new research in the field of labour history in India.