Gendered Experiences of Work and Migration in Western Europe in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries
This chapter provides an overview of the gender turn in migration history with a specific focus on migrant workers in Western Europe. However, considering the importance of European labour migration to North America in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the diversity in migration trajectories will be considered here not only within continental Europe but also across the Atlantic Ocean. Intermediaries, mediating actors and recruitment chains need to be investigated as a part of gendered migration infrastructures characterized by overlap between mixed migration chains and gendered ones. Mediating migrant labour was also a widespread practice among the foremen or forewomen responsible for organizing work in urban workshops or factories. Italian and French women working in the textile and garment industries in the Lyon region at the end of the nineteenth century were generally recruited by their 'maestre' via regional or the international migration channels.