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Interdependent living: Labouring families and the Swedish mining industry in the late seventeenth century
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of History. (Gender and Work)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5245-937X,
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of History. (Gender and Work)
2016 (English)In: The History of the Family, ISSN 1081-602X, E-ISSN 1873-5398Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The history of the labouring family has gained increasing attention among European scholars in the last decades, but in Sweden, it remains an under-researched topic. Still, in the early modern period, labourers and their families made vital contributions to the country’s important mining industry. This paper examines the household economy of labouring families related to the mining industry in two Swedish areas in the late seventeenth century. On the basis on account books and court records, combined with demographic data, we explore the diversity of livelihoods and the complex web of interdependencies that made this economy feasible. We show that, while monetary remuneration was limited, wage labour in mines and metalwork gave the labouring family access to resources in the form of land, labour and credit beyond its own assets. Within the household, the man generally worked for wages, while his wife made use of the use-rights that came with his employment. The mining industry, and thereby also Swedish state finances, depended on this diverse family economy. In conclusion, interdependence, rather than the independent economic position described by classical models of early modern households, characterized the household economy of the labouring family.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
Labourer, household economy, mining industry, early modern, Sweden
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Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-308604DOI: 10.1080/1081602X.2016.1249901OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-308604DiVA: diva2:1050427
Obesuttna familjers försörjning och funktion i det tidigmoderna Sverige, ca 1600–1750
Swedish Research Council, 2009-1794
Available from: 2016-11-29 Created: 2016-11-29 Last updated: 2016-11-29

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Publisher's full texthttp://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1081602X.2016.1249901

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Lindström, Jonas
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