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Title: Economic repercussions on different aspects of employment 1880 – 1921
Authors: Mifsud, Carmen
Keywords: Malta -- Economic conditions -- 19th century
Malta -- Economic conditions -- 20th century
Rural industries -- Malta -- History -- 19th century
Rural industries -- Malta -- History -- 20th century
Civil service -- Malta -- History -- 19th century
Civil service -- Malta -- History -- 20th century
Issue Date: 2017
Abstract: When it comes to the recording of occupations, the most useful records at our disposal are the Censuses. In Malta these records were taken every ten years until the Second World War and at different intervals thereafter. The statistics in the various censuses offer a picture of seriousness in their compilation. However, as John Chircop argues in his M.A thesis, ‘Under-development: The Maltese experience´, Malta’s official censuses had a bad habit of generalising on sections of producers without differentiating between their modes of production. Therefore, as a result, the related data gets misleading. For instance if we take carpenters as an example, whether these were employed with contractors or worked as independent woodcarvers or sculptors, they were all listed under ‘persons engaged in carpentry’. The Census records divide occupations into six different categories: The Professional class, the domestic class, the commercial class, the agricultural class, the industrial class and the indefinite and non - productive class. The Professional class includes those persons who are rendering direct service to society by dealing with people’s intellectual, moral and devotional needs. Jobs in this sector include, besides the traditional professions such as doctors, lawyers and notaries those working with the government of the colony, as civil servants, members of the police force, teachers and school masters, notaries, journalists and people working in the arts such as musicians and actors and writers amongst other professions. The domestic class as its name implies, consists of people employed as servants in households either receiving wages or partly paid in kind with free board and lodging. In this sector, every woman in Malta, if not prevented by any medical condition and not employed, is occupied in household duties. This domestic class had recorded a substantial amount of female employment. However, women had also other roles in society such as the occupation of wife, mother and housewife. In the household, grown up daughters, sisters, nieces and other family members were all able to perform certain domestic services. The commercial class recorded the highest number of male employment with it. Jobs in this category were related to the business of buying and selling, import and export, and a variety of related or ancillary services. Employment within this sector included bankers, merchants and dealers, shopkeepers, firemen, boatmen and fishermen, accountants and clerks, telegraphs employees, petty vendors and porters, carriers and coal heavers amongst others. The Agricultural class is mainly made up of all those people employed within the agriculture spectre. This sector is dominated by farmers referred to as ‘Peasants Proprietors’, who were almost without exception either the owners or lease holders of the land (also known as gabellotto) which they themselves work out and cultivate. These holdings were of course in no way comparable to farms as understood, say, in England. Other workers included in this sector are field labourers, gardeners, shepherds and goatherds. The Industrial class is made up mainly of artisans and businessmen. Women in this category mainly were working in lace, as cotton weavers and spinners, straw plait workers, dress makers and other forms of needle works. On the other hand, the men working in this class were spread out working as masons, plasterers, carpenters, painters, shoe makers, upholsterers, gold and silversmiths, and butchers amongst others. The last category is the indefinite and non - productive class. Basically, this category included all those persons who did not fall under any of the previous ones. It also included children less than fifteen years of age as well as children still attending schools or receiving private tuition. Also included were beggars (mendicants), the sick and infirm and pensioners, but also people of a higher social standing such as property owners who occupied themselves looking after and improving their property. Such people might also be engaged in charitable work or in scientific pursuit. One also finds prostitutes included in this category, or ‘fallen women’ as the census refers to them.
Description: B.A.(HONS)HISTORY
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - FacArt - 2017
Dissertations - FacArtHis - 2017

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