The Joy and Pain of Work: Global Attitudes and Valuations, 1500–1650 Introduction
We can safely assume that from 1500 to 1650 much of the world’s population worked to earn their living. Though we know roughly what kind of tasks people performed, we know surprisingly little about their perception of work.
This Special Issue aims to present the first inventory of its kind of prevailing attitudes towards work and of how work was valued in what is termed for some, but not all, parts of the world the early modern period.
Our aim is inspired largely by a long-term project being conducted at the IISH: The Global Collaboratory on the History of Labour Relations, 1500–2000. That project endeavours to establish a quantitative overview of labour relations worldwide for the period 1500 to 2000. Within the framework of that