Hidden Workers- John Bullen
Urban vs. Rural
Rural family every person in the family plays their part, even the children by doing chores around the house and farm.
Urban families only the wage-earner bring in money, the children are more of a financial burden.
Transition from Rural to Urban
People realized that the money was no longer in farming, fled to the cities and factories
Europeans came to Canadian cities in hopes of fleeing poverty and oppression.
Materialism, Consumerism, and Standardization.
All hit families hard who lived just above the poverty line.
Constant competition to find jobs to keep the family in a warm safe place.
When there was no work workers turned to their families, aka they turned to their children to help.
Ages 8 and below
Cleaned home with mother when father was away at work.
Gathered coal, wood, water, raised and slaughtered livestock.
When there was sickness the children would care for their parents.
Older children would assume duties of sick or deceased parent.
If the mother had to go to work the older siblings would babysit and care for the younger siblings.
Duties divided by sex
Girls baby sat and attended housekeeping.
Boys performed tasks outside the home.
Families who lacked children of both sexes called on the most capable and available.
Domestic necessity conquered gender stereotyping.
Some children were kept at home to work long hours, began to be called a “sweatshop”.
Subcontracts to create or fix clothing for larger companies.
Common practice in Toronto among working-class families in the 1860’s.
1896 petition from Trades and Labour Congress moved to have factories and homes inspected, found that the working conditions in factories were bad, but the working conditions in the homes were even worse.
Many workers brought unfinished materials home at night ot have the family help finish them.
Ontario Factories Act 1884 and Shops Act 1888 restricted the age and hours of child workers in industrial and commercial settings, these laws did not cover household shops as well.
Lower class areas were termed “nursery of child labour”.
The Business practice not the family practice was to blame( blame to be put on materialism, consumerism, and standardization and the competition to supply and demand, families struggled to keep up with the constant growing economy).
Home-centered industries rose up above sweatshops but were still large contributors to sacrifices that children had to make on a regular basis.
10 cents a day, 1.30 a week.
Were smart salesman playing people into buying their papers.
Earnings that a newsboy could make kept some families from utter destitution.
1890- law made that if under 16 had to apply for a license to sell newspapers.
The goal of this was to clean up the streets.
To qualify for a badge the boys had to have a clean record, attend school for two hours a day, and avoid trouble.
A child’s ability to perform tasks around the home often proved to be the decisive factor of his or her placement in a home.
Families with younger children often requested girls in age ranging from 10-13 more often than any other age.
Children’s Protection Act- provided creation of local visiting committees with authority to monitor foster homes.
The work that was given to the children was hard, tedious, and they had little security and opportunity.
All the girls were alone, vulnerable to being thrown out if not good enough, and powerless to stop it.
Latter half of 19th century children enjoyed free access to primary education.
Although most children were unable to attend due to their duties at home or on the streets.
For lower class families this is very much a reality.
“The family is an institution which industrialization shaped by moving the home from the site of the workplace”
Reflections on Age as a Category of Historical Analysis- Steven Mintz
Age categories have become more rigid, precise and uniform.
Opposing idea that categories of age are breaking down, children embrace adolescence and even adult behavior and attitudes at a young age.
Growing up faster but never seem to actually grow up at all (living in parents basements until their 30s).
Age id a concept, s chronological marker we use to measure progress through life.
It is also subjective, 20th century age has become identified with milestones, norms and expectations.
Age is linked to cognitive, emotional, and physiological stages. Organizational categories. Linked to power and legal rights as well(when they can vote, get married, legally drink).
Age can be understood as a category of analysis.
Attentiveness to class, ethnicity and gender shows how multiple definitions of age coexist in single society(different historical dates, or eras).
The issue of age in current times lies with debates over capital punishment for minors, trying youth in adults courts, access to contraceptives and abortion.
In a comparison between age and gender, both are constructs that have changed over time.
Age categories are not natural, it is imbued with cultural assumptions, meanings and values.
Assumptions about children such as immaturity irresponsibility and incomplete development.
The relationship between age groups primary aspects of social organization, organized in hierarchical.
Categories that are created have been embedded in relationships, institutional structuring, social practices.
Age and gender are rooted in biology, but are very different culturally, socially, and psychologically.
Age is a more fluid category, the variation is wider.
Gender shapes life, even in gender equality cultures, in contrast age is affected and modified by things such as class, religion, nationality, and even gender.
Biology of age has changed over time in ways biology of gender has not.
Age is much less fixed than gender, even though gender is becoming more fluid as people are becoming more open to the concept of more than two genders.
The Rhythm of Work and the Rhythm of School- Ian E. Davey
School Act of 1850
Gave legislative recognition t property assessment for school purposes, made it possible for the individual boards to introduce free schools.
The task was to get the children into the schools enough to gain an actual education.
1871 schools in virtually all cities adopted the free education and the attendance increased substantially.
The total yearly enrollment number usually greatly exaggerated the actual attendance as kids wouldn’t always show up.
Even though the numbers of children attending school were greatly exaggerated, children were still exposed to some form of education even in rural areas.
Problem for lack of attendance
Stated that since it is free education the parents are not upset or inclined to pressure their children to attend because it isn’t wasting any money
Whereas the rate-bill forces the parents to push their children to attend because it is costing them money
“Material circumstance rather than criminal negligence was the root cause of low and irregular attendance”
Also influenced by harsh climatic conditions, bad roads, sickness
The depression hit hard, larger cities came to a standstill making it hard for the cities to keep the schools running
Kids dropped out to scavenge and help parents to keep families alive
Some dropped out because families were forced to leave the cities to look for work
Laborers would move from town to town looking for work.
Children were pulled and entered into new schools all the time affecting the population numbers.
Ottawa struggled with their school attendance as all the mechanics and labourers moved down south to the US for work.
Rise of industrial capitalism brought increasing irregularity of employment for skilled workers and made working similar to those of labourers.
If a ordinary workman or small farmer lost their job they were immediately thrown into poverty until conditions improved.
More children worked in the factories, tobacco, cotton were the largest employers for children which affected school attendance.
School attendance in rural areas was based upon the crop season.
Higher attendance in the winter as there was less work for the families.
Boys attended school more in the summer and winter than girls, overall a larger boy attendance due to seasonal change in crops whereas the girls worked more domestic jobs and were able to work continuously throughout the year.
School was not necessary for children, able to get by without it and made more money.
To keep children in school was to forgo the possibility of them contributing to the family earnings.
Adolescent work in the factories became like adolescent work in the factories, a necessity for the family.
Parents wanted to send their children to school, but the rigor and the rhythm of work made it difficult to keep them for sustained periods of time.