Welcome GuestRegister/Login? View CartCheckout

Main : Asia, economics, globalisation, human rights, labour, Spinifex Feminist Classic, war, work

ISBN: 9781742198149
215 x 135 mm
Share this on Facebook     Add to Librarything.com     Add to Goodreads.com Email a friend
The Lace Makers of Narsapur
Maria Mies
Instant Download


The Lace Makers of Narsapur is a sensitive and groundbreaking study of women at the beginning of the process of globalisation. Maria Mies in this book, first published in 1982, looks at the way in which women are dispossessed by producing luxury goods for the Western market and simultaneously not counted as workers or producers in their fragmented workplaces. Instead they are defined as ‘non-working housewives’ and their work as ‘leisure-time activity’. The rates of pay are far below acceptable levels resulting in accelerating pauperisation and a rapid deterioration in their position in Indian society.

Before the latest ‘economic boom’ in India were a number of processes of dispossession. The dispossession of farmers through the ‘green revolution’ and alongside it, the dispossession of women, the lace makers of Narsapur in the state of Andhra Pradesh.
Instant Download ( pdf mobi epub )
In stock.
Ships in 1-2 business days.

Podcast Maria Mies speaks with Helen Lobato about 'The Lace Makers of Narsapur'

Write a review.
… a graphic illustration of how women bear the impact of development processes in countries where poor peasant and tribal societies are being ‘integrated’ into an international division of labor under the dictates of capital accumulation.
Chandra Talpade Mohanty

Table of Contents

Preface to the 2012 edition

Preface to the 1982 edition


1 Introduction 1


2 The Setting – West Godavari

Population Characteristics and Work Participation

Poverty and Pauperisation in a Rich District

Women’s Work Participation in West Godavari



3 The History of the Lace Industry

Colonial Penetration

The Development of the Lace Industry, 1900-70

The Rise of the Farmer Merchants in the Lace Business


4 The Lace Industry in 1978


5 Structure of the Industry

A ‘Submerged Economy’ and Invisible Producers

Means of Production and the Production Process

Division of Work and the Putting-Out System

Wages and Wage Systems

Marketing and Marketing Agents


6 Production and Reproduction Relations

The Setting and Methodology

Case Histories of Lace Producers, Agents, Traders, Exporters

(a) Female Producers: The Lace Makers

(b)  Male Non-Producers: Agents, Traders and Exporters

Demographic and Socio-Economic Characteristics of the Lace Makers

(a) Marital Status

(b) Class

(c)  Caste

(d) Education

Production Relations

(1) Lace Workers/Exporters

(2) Lace Workers/Agents

(3) Lace Workers/Traders

(4) Agents/Exporters

Reproduction Relations

Division of Labour Between the Sexes

(1) Sexual Division of Labour within Society

(2) Sexual Division of Labour within the Family

(3) Lace Production and Changes in the Sexual Division of Labour

Women’s Work and Labour Time

(a) The Working Day of a Lace Maker

(b) Types of Work

(c)  Labour Time

Income and Expenditure

(1) Income

(2) Expenditure

Indebtedness and Pauperisation


7 Profits and Exploitation


8 Problems of Organisation

The Lace Workers’ Consciousness

The Possibility of Forming a Society

The Role of the Bureacracy

Our Role


9 Conclusions





Appendix: Adilaksmi’s Working Day



1 Agricultural Machinery and Implements

2 Size of Landholding

3 Distribution of Holdings and Area Operated in West Godavari, by Size of Holding

4 Distribution of Make and Female Workers in Agriculture, 1961-1971

5 The Employment Exchange: Applications and Placements

6 Employment in the Formal Sector, Elluru

7a Exports and Local Business Negotiated through State Bank of India, Narsapur (rupees)

7b Exports and Local Business Negotiated through State Bank of India, Narsapur (graphs)

8 Marital Status of Lace Makers

9 Main Occupation of Head of Household

10 Land Owned or Leased-in by Lace Makers’ Families

11 Land Ownership: Present and Past Situation

12 Distribution of Lace Workers by Education and Caste (%)

13a Average Annual Earnings According to Sources of Income

13b Average Retail Prices of Essential Commodities at Elluru, 1975-77

13c Average Wholesale Prices of Paddy at Bhimavaram, April 1976 to March 1977

14 Family Expenditure on Various Requirements (%)

15 Recreation Expenditure According to Sex

16 Health Expenditure According to Sex

17 Amounts Borrowed

18 Reasons for Taking Loans

19 Articles Pawned, Land Mortgaged and Lost by Lace Makers’ Families


Out Now
Dark Matter

Dark Matter

Robin Morgan

I‘ve had me up my sleeve
I‘ve pulled me from my hat
I’ve planted myself in the audience
as the patsy I dare to decipher...



Renate Klein

   Pared down to cold hard facts, surrogacy is the commissioning/buying/ renting of a woman into whose womb an embryo is...

The Pimping of Prostitution

The Pimping of Prostitution

Julie Bindel

This book examines one of the most contested issues facing feminists, human rights activists and governments around the...

I'm the Girl Who Was Raped

I'm the Girl Who Was Raped

Michelle Hattingh

I am the statistic that I read about. I am the thing I always feared most. I am rape.

That morning, Michelle had...

Content © Spinifex Press • Terms & ConditionsContact UsAbout Us