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Learning on the Shop Floor: Historical Perspectives on Apprenticeship
Volume 12

International Studies in Social History

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Learning on the Shop Floor

Historical Perspectives on Apprenticeship

Edited by Bert de Munck, Steven L. Kaplan and Hugo Soly

242 pages, 4 figs, 14 tables, index

ISBN  978-1-84545-341-1 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (December 2007)

Hb View cartYour country: United States - Click here to remove geolocation   Recommend to your Library Available in GOBI®


Apprenticeship or vocational training is a subject of lively debate. Economic historians tend to see apprenticeship as a purely economic phenomenon, as an ‘incomplete contract’ in need of legal and institutional enforcement mechanisms. The contributors to this volume have adopted a broader perspective. They regard learning on the shop floor as a complex social and cultural process, to be situated in an ever-changing historical context. The results are surprising. The authors convincingly show that research on apprenticeship and learning on the shop floor is intimately associated with migration patterns, family economy and household strategies, gender perspectives, urban identities and general educational and pedagogical contexts.

Bert De Munck is Lecturer in the Department of History at the University of Antwerp, Belgium, where he teaches social and economic history of the early modern period, history and social theory, and European ethnology and heritage. His research focuses on the history of craft guilds, ‘social capital’ and vocational education.

Steven L. Kaplan is Professor of European History at Cornell University. He published Les ventres de Paris. Pouvoir et approvisionnement dans la France d’Ancien Régime (Fayard, 1988), Le meilleur pain du monde. Les boulangers de Paris au XVIIIe siècle (Fayard, 1996), La fin des corporations (Fayard, 2001) and (as editor, with Philippe Minard) La France, malade du corporatisme(2004).

Hugo Soly is Professor of Early Modern History and Director of the Centre for Historical Research into Urban Transformations at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium. His writings focus on five major areas – urban development, poverty and poor relief, ‘deviant’ behaviour, industrialization, and craft guilds. Currently he is working on perceptions of work in pre-industrial Europe.

Subject: History (General) Refugee and Migration Studies Gender Studies and Sexuality Sociology


List of Figures and Tables

Introduction Chapter 1. ‘Learning on the Shop Floor’ in Historical Perspective
Bert De Munck and Hugo Soly


Chapter 2. Apprentices, Servants and Other Workers: Apprenticeship in Japan
Mary Louise Nagata

Chapter 3. From School to Workshop: Pre-training and Apprenticeship in Old Regime France
Clare Crowston


Chapter 4. Apprenticeship and Guild Control in the Netherlands, c.1450–1800
Karel Davids

Chapter 5. Construction and Reproduction: The Training and Skills of Antwerp Cabinetmakers in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries
Bert De Munck

Chapter 6. Learning by Brewing: Apprenticeship and the English Brewing Industry in the Late Victorian and Early Edwardian Period
Jonathan Reinarz


Chapter 7. Silk Weaver and Purse Maker Apprentices in Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Vienna
Annemarie Steidl

Chapter 8. Social Mobility and Apprenticeship in Late Medieval Flanders
Peter Stabel

Chapter 9. Apprentices in the German and Austrian Crafts in Early Modern Times: Apprentices as Wage Earners?
Reinhold Reith

Conclusion Chapter 10. Reconsidering Apprenticeship: Afterthoughts
Steven L. Kaplan

Notes on Contributors

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