Back to search

H20-MSCA-Marie Sklodowska-Curie actions

Made in Sweatshops. Worker, technology and Gender (comparison Paris-Shanghai, Late 19th c.-Late 20th c.)

Awarded: NOK 2.3 mill.


Project Manager:

Project Number:


Project Period:

2021 - 2023


Made in SweatShops. Worker, Technology and Gender (Comparison Paris-Shanghai, Late 19th c.-Late 20th c.) Made in Sweatshops (MISS) proposes to study the female workers in the clothing industry through an analysis of workshop techniques and a comparison between two major manufacturing centres: Paris from 1860 to 1900 and Shanghai from 1990 to 2020. By re-evaluating the relationships between bosses, middlemen and female workers, and the links between techniques, qualification, de-skilling and gender , MISS will offer a new way of thinking about female work and the gender of technologies.The objective is to examine how the technical tools of the workshops have affected the lives of women workers in the long term and have contributed to the systematic organisation of the misery of women's work. The comparison between Paris and Shanghai is justified because these two economic centres of the clothing industry are both design and manufacturing centres. At present, the garment industry in the neighbouring province of Shanghai, Zhejiang, is openly modelling its development on that of Paris in the 19th century . New York and London have never been design and manufacturing centres at the same time. This double simultaneity only characterizes Paris and Shanghai. My core hypothesis in MISS is that technology management is a determinant point of this industry. Technological "progress" in the clothing industry has very negative effects on the know-how, the misery migrations, the working conditions of the workforce, women's employment and career prospects. It contributes to the impoverishment of creative industries in a context of globalisation . Paris and Shanghai are excellent sites for observing the implementation and reproducibility of an industrial model aimed at de-skilling the workforce through technology in order to respond to the constant growth in volumes of clothing at lower cost.

Funding scheme:

H20-MSCA-Marie Sklodowska-Curie actions

Funding Sources