Notbehelfe in Krisenzeiten. Lebensunterhalt und landwirtschaftlicher Dienst in Österreich (1918-1938)
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In farm servants’ personal accounts, gainful work in agriculture is presented as only one of several ways to make a living during the interwar period in Austria. Many of the narrators frequently changed positions despite repeated economic crises and high levels of unemployment. They accepted positions at other farms or found employment in industry. Some were occasionally supported by family members, helped out at home when their support was needed or made ends meet with (more or less) illegitimate livelihoods such as begging or busking. Particularly women migrated, sometimes over long distances, to cities e.g. to work as domestic labourers in the households of others. Many former servants later returned to farm work and/or moved back and forth between rural and urban areas attempting to make a living often under precarious circumstances. This contribution deals with farm servants changing their positions. It investigates differences and similarities between the trajectories of their livelihoods by focusing on ender, kinship networks and the differing opportunities of accessing more formalised employment.
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