ANR Générique. DEFI 8. Sociétés innovantes, intégrantes et adaptatives-2016

Women’s and men’s remuneration and time budgets in the textile trades in France from the late 17th to the early 20th century


Coordination : Manuela Martini

DEFI 8. Sociétés innovantes, intégrantes et adaptatives

Axe 3. Mutations du travail et de l’emploi, changement des organisations

Duration : 36 months

partners :

  • UMR 7303 –TELEMME, Université Aix-Marseille
  • UMR 8529 – IRHIS, Université de Lille 3
  • UR 1303 ALISS, INRA
  • EA 337 – ICT- Alpage, Université de Paris 7- INRIA



The Time-Us project aims to reconstruct the remuneration and time budgets of women and men working in the textile trades in four French industrial regions (Lille, Paris, Lyon, Marseille) in an European and long-term perspective, by bringing together a multidisciplinary team of technology, economic and labour historians, natural language processing (NLP) experts and sociologists specializing in Le Play’s families’ budgets.

The role of women in industrial development is now largely recognized in both sociological and economic studies on developing countries and the historiography of the first industrial revolution in Europe. Yet data on their remuneration, schedules and domestic work and that of men working in the same sectors remain deficient for many regions, especially for France. A full understanding of economic development cannot be achieved without assessing the quantity of women’s paid and unpaid work, and the male/female distribution of time spent on domestic work. The Time-Us project aims to collect missing data for France in a key sector of the first industrial revolution: textiles. The goal is to create comparable series on the remuneration and time allocation of employed men and women through, first, classical sources and company and trade association archives, and second, the piecing together of a series of qualitative sources identifying words and actions associated with work in both domestic and non-domestic activities.     

By proposing an exercise that has never been tackled for France to date, it aims to provide keys to understanding the gender gap by analyzing changes in work and time uses during the first industrialization process, and goes to the core of issues raised in the DEFI 8’s Axe 3. “Transformations in work and employment, organizational change” – and in the sub-areas “Family life/professional life balance and work time /social times” and “Women and men at work: the challenge of professional equality and the role of work”.