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Made in Sweatshops

Women workers in the garment industry in Paris- and Shanghai in the late 19th to the late 20th centuries.

Women working in a sweatshop.

Photo: dpa/picture alliance/Xie Zhengyi

About the project

"Made in Sweatshops, Paris-Shanghai (late 19th-late 20th centuries)" will offer a new way of thinking about female work and the gender of technologies by re-evaluating:

  • the relationships between bosses, middlemen and female workers, and
  • the links between techniques, qualification, workers losing skills because of one-sided work and gender, 


The overall aim for the project is to show how technologies are fuelling the misery of female labour and the depletion of industrial products. This is a development fostered by the rise of neoliberalism.

The project will analyse workshop techniques and compare two major manufacturing centres.

There are four specific objects the project will look closer at:

  1. The technological: tools, machines and documentation related to creation and manufacturing workshops.
  2. The origin of the workers: the different positions they occupy in the workshops, the specific tools for each position, the division of labour.
  3. The means of reproducibility: the material culture underlying standardisation.
  4. Industrial and artistic property: including designs, patents, inventions and innovations, inventors and innovators.









This project receives funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement nr. 101024003.

Published Oct. 26, 2021 12:34 PM - Last modified Oct. 26, 2021 12:38 PM