From 1500 to 1650 many societies underwent profound social and economic change.
As market economies developed and regions became interconnected, labour relations were transformed alongside ideas about work.
Until now, these perceptions of work have rarely been studied from a global perspective, even though their analysis would help us to understand the nature and consequences of shifts in global labour relations.
This volume focuses on perceptions of work world-wide and explores how ideas about working (and not working) evolved over time in the early modern period.
Contributions analyse central texts containing perceptions of work, terms and concepts that express 'work', the ranking of occupations, and ideas about 'just' wages and forms of remuneration.
They show, too, how gender, age, and ethnic or religious background determined who could do what work and how these ideas were transformed in particular societies and communities, either independently or in response to a transcontinental market.