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Wage Earners in India 1500–1900 : Regional Approaches in an International Context

Book description

The study of wage levels and the purchasing power of wages is often viewed as a specialized academic topic of little concern to the wider public. This is far from being the case, as this book demonstrates. The study of wages opens up vistas of the daily life of the working people, of their standards of living and, therefore, addresses questions of larger economic developments and unequal power relationships in a region.

Wage Earners in India 1500–1900: Regional Approaches in an International Context brings together several scholars—young and veteran—to study new data and reinterpret older data from a fresh methodological perspective to locate India within global economic systems more effectively.

This book

• identifies previously unused and unpublished material for the study of wages

• underlines the importance of wages as a source of income for Indians from early times

• demonstrates the trends in wages over the period under review

• stresses the need to take women into account for the reconstruction of household income


About the editors

Jan Lucassen is Emeritus Professor at the Free University of Amsterdam and an honorary fellow at the International Institute of Social History, where he founded the IISH Research Department as well as the biannual European Social Science History. He recently published The Story of Work: A New History of Humankind (2021). He is an expert in labour and migration history. His publications include the following books: Workers in the Informal Sector (2005, together with Sabyasachi Bhattacharya), Global Labour History: A State of the Art (2006), Globalising Migration History: The Eurasian Experience (2014, together with Leo Lucassen). Among his articles are studies about brick making in India, workers of the Ichapur Gunpowder Factory and the circulation of copper money in India.

Radhika Seshan, Professor and Head (Retd.), Department of History, Savitribai Phule Pune University (formerly the University of Pune), is now Visiting Faculty, Symbiosis School for Liberal Arts, Pune, India. Her area of specialization is medieval Indian history, within which she has concentrated on economic history, especially maritime and urban history. She is the author of three books, Trade and Politics on the Coromandel Coast (2012), Ideas and Institutions in Medieval India, 8th to 18th centuries (2013) and The Constructions of the East in Western Travel Narratives, 1300–1800 (2020). In addition, she is the editor/co-editor of eight books, of which the most recent, co-edited with Professor Rila Mukherjee, is Indian Ocean Histories: The Many Worlds of Michael Naylor Pearson (2019–2020).




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Politics and Society in India and the Global South


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