chapter  2
Work in Premodern Societies
Pages 16

This conclusion presents some closing thoughts on the concepts covered in the preceding chapters of this book. The modern world of work is barely two centuries old anywhere, though it was foreshadowed by new global trends in the centuries immediately prior to 1800. The United States encountered less unemployment and healthier economic growth rates than many industrial regions in Western Europe and Japan. Established industrial societies, particularly the United States and Western Europe, faced interesting questions about immigrant labor. Traditional work expectations combined with the need for cheap labor, particularly in crafts and services, to compete against the growing competition from more modern centers. The child labor is actually spreading in many parts of South and Southeast Asia, counter to dominant global trends. Finally a history of modern work helps establish a framework for assessment both of work in general and of individual work situations.