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World-System Theory

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Chapter Summary

This chapter talks about the Global Labor History, a labor history that studies labor relations and labor movements from a transnational or even transcontinental perspective. In fact, supporters of the world-system approach have published many studies on labor movements, workers and other objective" proletarians since 1976. These contributions provide new insights from which labor and working class historians can benefit, even if they do not, or not completely, subscribe to the theoretical assumptions of the world-system approach. A diversity of modes of labor control" exists within the modern world system. Free labor is the form of labor control used for skilled work in core countries whereas coerced labor is used for less skilled work in peripheral areas. It is evident that supporters of the world-system approach have assembled some insightful fragments of theory over the years, which are useful in the construction of a Global Labor History.

Keywords: free labor; Global Labor History; labor movements; labor relations; working class; world-system theory



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