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The Coverage of Work and Professions in Modern European History Textbooks


Korean Minjok Leadership Academy
International Program
You, In Sun
Term Paper, AP European History Class, June 2010



Table of Contents


I. Introduction
II. Definition
II.1 Terminology
II.2 Selection of Work / Profession
III. Method of Study
III.1 Goal of Research
III.2 Method
IV. Compare & Contrast
IV.1 Farmer
IV.1.1 Concise European History
IV.1.2 Western Civilization
IV.1.3 Western Heritage
IV.1.4 Compare & Contrast
IV.2 Women's Job (Housework)
IV.2.1 Concise European History
IV.2.2 Western Civilization
IV.2.3 Western Heritage
IV.2.4 Compare & Contrast
IV.3 Manufacturing
IV.3.1 Concise European History
IV.3.2 Western Civilization
IV.3.3 Western Heritage
IV.3.4 Compare & Contrast
IV.4 Sailor
IV.4.1 Concise European History
IV.4.2 Western Civilization
IV.4.3 Western Heritage
IV.4.4 Compare & Contrast
V. Evaluation
V.1 Criteria
V.2 Evaluation
V.2.1 Grading Scale
V.2.2 Concise European History
V.2.3 Western Civilization
V.2.4 Western Heritage
V.2.5 Analysis
V.2.5.1 Concise European History
V.2.5.2 Western Civilization
V.2.5.3 Western Heritage
VI. Conclusion
Notes
Bibliography



I. Introduction
            Every historian has his or her own point of view. Therefore, what they write cannot be objective. As every history book is written by different historian and different viewpoint, it is advised to compare and contrast texts.
            By comparing and contrasting three European History textbooks, Concise European History (Harut Pam E Ingnun Yuropsa), Western Civilization, and Western Heritage, this paper would deal with the work and profession in the modern European history. Concise European History, especially, must be dealt with in depth because it is a Korean history textbook unlike the other two texts.
            This paper is divided in three parts;
            1. Compare and contrast several textbooks on European history
            2. Discuss criteria of evaluation using secondary sources, in other answering the question, 'What is worthy to be included in the textbooks ?'
            3. Evaluate, and try to get a conclusion from the information collected.
            Through this process, a better understanding of work and profession in modern Europe can be achieved.

II. Definition

II.1 Terminology
            There are various different definitions of 'work' in many various dictionaries. It is necessary to determine a clear definition before proceding with the paper.
            In Oxford Advanced Learner¡¯s Dictionary work is defined as, "job that a person does especially in order to earn money". (1) In Merriam-Webster's Dictionary, work is said to be "the labor, task, or duty that is one's accustomed means of livelihood". (2) Also, Cambridge Advanced Learner¡¯s Dictionary says that work is "an activity, such as a job, which a person uses physical or mental effort to do, usually for money". (3)
            Therefore, in this paper, work is defined as a thing which one does constantly in order to earn money.

II.2 Selection of Work / Profession
            If the work / professions mentioned in the textbooks match the characteristics below. This paper would cover it.

            1. Time - It should be relevant for the time between the Late Middle Ages / Renaissance and WWII.
            2. Stability - The work should be stable, and constant.
            3. Profitability - The work must be paid, in other words, there should be wages.
            4. Significance - The work should not be one which is done only by a limited number of people.
            5. Social Class - The work should be done by ordinary people, not the privileged. This paper would focus on normal jobs as privileged people's jobs are over-explained, therefore not worth being compared and contrasted, or evaluated in the scope of this paper.

            Based on these criteria, this paper will deal with

            1. Farmer
            2. Women's Job (Housework)
            3. Manufacturer / Craftsman
            4. Sailors

III. Method of Research

III.1 Goal of Research
            This paper's goal is to get a better understanding of work and profession in modern European history. This paper would concentrate especially on the work and profession that are not privileged and try to find out how different sources deal with different work, evaluate those sources, and discuss what should be included in those sources.

III.2 Method
            1. Decide the kind of works that should be included, using the criteria of Section II.
            2. Search through the books, and research.
            3. Compare, and contrast different books on topics chosen (Section II)
            4. Evaluate, using the criteria (Section VII.1., Section VII.2).

IV. Compare & Contrast

IV.1 Farmer

IV.1.1 Concise European History
            In the textbook Concise European History, Farming as a job was not discussed much. Its length was the least in all three books, and most of the description was concentrated on the period close to Renaissance. It also made a very common mistake of using the term 'farmer' or 'peasant' as the equivalent of lower-class citizen. However, the fact that it did not discuss anything about the farmers' daily situation was the most problematic. (4)

IV.1.2 Western Civilization
            Western Civilization, compared with other two textbooks, had ample amount of information of farmers in European history. It had some explanation about the peasants' daily life, and also about their significance. However, like other two textbooks, its content was quite concentrated on early modern European History. (5)

IV.1.3 Western Heritage
            Western Heritage had both the characteristic of the other two textbooks. Like other two books, its content was concentrated on early modern European history. It did use the term 'peasant' accurately, and the book did talk about some situation of the farmers, but its quantity is less compared to Western Civilization. (6)

IV.1.4 Compare & Contrast
            Even though the three textbooks discuss about the same topic in same period, it has a lot of differences, as well as similarities. The three books are similar in that it only talks about the early part of the modern European history. It is obvious that there are not much material to explain in the later part of modern European history, but it is advisable to mention, if not explain about agricultural profession in the later European history.
            However the materials that the books covered had some differences. The differences were most obvious in terms of the daily life of a farmer. The discussion of it varied immensely between three textbooks.

IV.2 Women's Job (Housework)

IV.2.1 Concise European History
            Concise European History had no coverage of women's job (housework)

IV.2.2 Western Civilization
            At the first glimpse this book may seem like it has no coverage of women's profession. However, that was not true, this book interestingly included materials about women in the category of 'Family'. This seems to create a prejudice which hints women as a part of family. Although the coverage of women's job was a lot in this textbook, it seems that the book only focused on certain period. (7)

IV.2.3 Western Heritage
            Western Heritage, was a book which emphasized a lot about not only women¡¯s occupation, but also about their general daily lives. In almost every chapter there is a mention about women. Also, it had a wide, and a deep coverage of women, meaning that it had information throughout European history, and that information was very detailed. (8)

IV.2.4 Compare & Contrast
            In European history women had constantly been the weaker side. Therefore, among the profession that I have chosen, women's profession was the one which had the most various result. Concise European History did not even have coverage of women's profession in its book. Other two textbooks did have some coverage of the topic; however, Western Heritage had considerably more information than Western Civilization.

IV.3 Manufacturing

IV.3.1 Concise European History
            In Concise European History, manufacturing was discussed more in this book than any other professions that were chosen. However, manufacturing was only mentioned in certain time when it had a significant influence on history. In other times, it was not mentioned at all. Also, the explanations about the individual situation of the workers were not sufficient. (9)

IV.3.2 Western Civilization
            Manufacturing was discussed great deal in Western Civilization. However, it was mainly discussed in a manner in which manufacturing seemed like a precursor, or the result of a certain phenomenon. It did not have much about the workers' situation; however, it had some explanation. (10)

IV.3.3 Western Heritage
            Although Western Heritage had the most materials which concerned manufacturing, it did not have much about the individual situation of a worker, except for a brief mention in the Industrial Revolution, there was practically no material about the workers¡¯ condition or situation. (11)

IV.3.4 Compare & Contrast
            Compared to other topics, the textbooks focused more on the historical context of manufacturing rather than manufacturing itself. Concise European History really had no mention about workers' daily lives, and except for the fact that they had some information of it in the industrial revolution section; the other two books are mostly the same. However, those two books did have some explanation about the workers' individual situation.

IV.4 Sailors

IV.4.1 Concise European History
            Concise European History only discusses about the era of discovery when it mentions about Sailors. It does not discuss the daily life of sailors. (12)

IV.4.2 Western Civilization
            Western Civilization only discusses about the era of discovery when it mentions about Sailors. It does not discuss the daily life of sailors. (13)

IV.4.3 Western Heritage
            Western Heritage only discusses about the era of discovery when it mentions about Sailors. It does not discuss the daily life of sailors. (14)

IV.4.4 Compare & Contrast
            All three books had practically no information about the sailors in Europe. There was a brief mention of sailors in the era of discovery; however, sailors' daily life was not discussed at all, but just some important people, or dates.

V. Evaluation
            This section could be divided into two parts. First part would discuss what should be included in a textbook of European history, using secondary sources. The second part would concentrate on evaluating individual textbooks, using the materials that we have got in the first part.

V.1 Criteria

V.1.1 What should be included ?
            These 5 categories are what history textbooks should at least have in order to explain the professions sufficiently.
            1. Origin
            2. Changes
            3. Rise and Fall
            4. Condition
            5. Significance

V.1.2 Farmer

V.1.2.1 Origin
            The profession Farmer's origin is before the Renaissance, but its origin could be explained in the modern European history. Farmers in modern European history are different from the farmers before; therefore, the textbooks should deal with how the modern European farmers came into being. For example, Feudalism, Black Death is the events that shaped the position of the farmer.

V.1.2.2 Changes
            The modern European history should deal with the changes that happened to the farmers after the Renaissance. How the situation changed for the farmers, or how the technology advanced, and so on. Topics where this could be included are the Agricultural Revolution, Industrial Revolution and so on.

V.1.2.3 Rise and Fall
            For Farmer this is similar to the second section (Changes), the text books could mention the events that changed the Farmers. Black Death, Industrial Revolution could be included.

V.1.2.4 Condition
            The daily life of farmers should be mentioned in the textbooks. Their cuisine, income, and so on could be mentioned in the books. This part is a part in which the textbooks often neglect.

V.1.2.5 Significance
            How the profession farmer is affected, or affects the historical events throughout history. Rather than just mentioning the facts, the text books should explain about the significance of farmer in historical context.

V.1.3 Woman's Job (Housework)

V.1.3.1 Origin
            It may seem like there is nothing to be said of the women's professions However, there is some information that should be covered. For example how they started working, or how do those jobs became women's.

V.1.3.2 Changes
            Women's role changed over time, the textbooks should mention women¡¯s profession constantly in order to explain the women¡¯s change of jobs.

V.1.3.3 Rise and Fall
            Women's right has changed as time passed by, for example witch hunt, or suffragist movement, and so on, could be mentioned in the category of rise and fall of the women's job.

V.1.3.4 Condition
            Women's job condition has changed very much since the Renaissance. Textbooks should mention the working condition of women's job.

V.1.3.5 Significance
            The textbooks should explain the women's jobs in a historical context. There should be some explanation about the change of events that lead to the changes in the women's job, and how history affected it.

V.1.4 Manufacturing

V.1.4.1 Origin
            The origin of manufacturing, which is the guilds and their craftsmen, should be explained.

V.1.4.2 Changes
            From craftsmen from guilds, the manufacturing changed into factor-based mass producing. The textbooks must be able to explain those changes and analyze those changes.

V.1.4.3 Rise and Fall
            The job 'manufacturer' had been quite constant, but there are certain materials that should be covered such as the change of the rights of the workers, and so on.

V.1.4.4 Condition
            Working condition of the manufacturers is mentioned in almost all of the textbooks, but they must be more precise and detailed, as the condition of the factory workers are more important than other job's working condition.

V.1.4.5 Significance
            Manufacturers are one of the works that affected history the most. Those changes to the history and the society should be included when the textbooks explain about the manufacturing industry.

V.1.5 Sailor

V.1.5.1 Origin
            Origin of Sailor is a long time before the Renaissance, but it could mention the origin of modern sailors who use different type of ships or devices that were not used before.

V.1.5.2 Changes
            Scientific knowledge has made immense amount of changes for the sailors. The books could mention those changes.

V.1.5.3 Rise and Fall
            There is little to be said for the rise and fall of the sailors, there could be come mention about the change in shipbuilding, or other facts.

V.1.5.4 Conditions
            Like other jobs, this should be mentioned in order to get a clear idea of the jobs. There could be some difference among the captains and the normal sailors.

V.1.5.5 Significance
            There were times when ship was the only source of transportation across the sea. When that was so, there should be some explanations about the sailors' significance in historical context.

V.2 Evaluation
            The evaluation would be done in two categories. The first category is about context, and the criteria of the first category would be section V.1. Next, the second category would be about objectiveness. The criteria of objectiveness are as follows.
            1. Quantity
            2. Omission
            3. Exaggeration
            4. Detail
            5. Clarity

V.2.1 Grading Scale
            Based on the categories that this paper discussed in the upper sections (V.1.1, V.2), evaluation of the individual primary sources would be conducted. After the evaluation of each primary sources on each jobs that this paper has selected, those evaluations would be averaged and produce an overall score for the primary sources. When we evaluate the primary sources, a scale of 1 to 5 would be used.
            1: Very Poor
            2: Poor
            3: Fair
            4: Good
            5: Very Good

V.2.2 Concise European History

Origin Changes Rise & Fall Condition Significance Quantity Omission Exaggeration Detail Clarity
Farmer 1 2 3 2 2 2 3 3 1 3
Woman's Job 1 1 2 1 2 1 3 3 1 2
Manufacturer 3 3 2 3 3 2 3 3 3 4
Sailor 2 3 1 1 3 1 3 3 2 3
Average 1.75 2.25 2 1.75 2.5 1.5 3 3 1.75 2.5

Overall : Poor

V.2.3 Western Civilization

Origin Changes Rise & Fall Condition Significance Quantity Omission Exaggeration Detail Clarity
Farmer 4 4 3 4 4 4 3 3 3 4
Woman's Job 3 4 4 4 4 3 3 3 4 4
Manufacturing 3 4 4 4 4 3 3 3 4 4
Sailor 2 2 2 1 2 1 3 3 2 3
Average 3 3.5 3.25 3.75 3.5 2.75 3 3 3.25 3.75

Overall : Good

V.2.4 Western Heritage

Origin Changes Rise & Fall Condition Significance Quantity Omission Exaggeration Detail Clarity
Farmer 3 2 3 2 3 2 3 3 3 3
Woman's Job 4 5 5 5 5 4 3 3 4 4
Manufacturing 3 4 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 4
Sailor 2 2 3 2 4 2 3 3 3 3
Average 3 3.25 3.5 3 3.75 2.75 3 3 3.25 3.5

Overall : Fair - Good

V.2.5 Analysis

V.2.5.1 Concise European History
            The evaluation of Concise European History shows us how a typical Korean history textbook is. Although it covers most of the materials on the big events it does not cover the small details. Many small details are not shown in the texts and most of the materials on the book are just a product of generalization. Also, it neglects the under-privileged people and just concentrates on the privileged people. In other words, while there are more materials on aristocrats or bourgeois, there is less on under-privileged workers such as the one that this paper has discussed since now.

V.2.5.2 Western Civilization
            Western Civilization could be said to be the most reliable source. Its quantity is quite sufficient, there is not much distortion to the facts, and there are a lot of details about the work and profession of modern European history. Those details explain well about the significance, working condition, and so on of the work and profession in modern Europe.

V.2.5.3 Western Heritage
            Western Heritage was quite similar to the Western Civilization. However, it lacked quantity, and condition of the workers. There was one big characteristic of Western Heritage. It is that Western Heritage stressed women. Almost in every chapter there are some explanation about women, and their condition. Also, there changes and so on are explained in detail in Western Heritage.

VI. Conclusion
            As mentioned in the introduction, this paper concentrated on comparing& contrasting, determining adequate information, and evaluating the primary sources. In that way, several conclusions were achieved in this paper.
            1. 5 categories of context(Origin, changes, rise and fall, condition, significance), and 5 categories of distortion(quantity, omission, exaggeration, detail, clarity)
            2. Some books are biased on certain topics (ex. Western Heritage-women's profession)
            3. Korean textbooks lack details, and explanation about the under-privileged.
            4. One must compare and contrast more than one source to get a clear idea of the topic.


Notes
           
(1)      "Work." Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary of Current English.
(2)      "Work." Merriam-Webster's Concise Dictionary.
(3)      "Work." Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary.
(4)      Harut Pam E Ingnun Yuropsa. 2004. pp.112-20, 125-28, 193-95
(5)      Western Civilization. 2007 pp.314, 448-51, 463, 459-60, 461-62, 611-12.
(6)      The Western Heritage. 2007. pp.485-86, 490, 493-96
(7)      Western Civilization. 2007 448-51, 467, 624, 761-65.
(8)      The Western Heritage. 2007. pp.468, 477, 490-92, 502, 697-98, 772-73, 820.
(9)      Harut Pam E Ingnun Yuropsa. 2004. pp.157-61, 195-9, 277-81
(10)      Western Civilization. 2007. pp.448-51, 463, 466-67, 613-18, 622-29.
(11)      The Western Heritage. 2007. pp.490, 497-98, 692-93, 768.
(12)      Harut Pam E Ingnun Yuropsa. 2004. pp.211- 215
(13)      Western Civilization. 2007. pp.321, 463
(14)      The Western Heritage. 2007. p.342.


Bibliography The following websites were visited in June 2010

1.      Kagan, Donald, Steven E. Ozment, and Frank M. Turner. The Western Heritage. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2007.
2.      Lembright, Robert L. Western Civilization. Dubuque, Iowa: McGraw-Hill Contemporary Learning Series, 2007. Print.
3.      Yun, Sung-jun. Harut Pam E Ingnun Yuropsa. Seoul: Random House Korea, 2004. Print.
4.      Modern European History. Palgrave Macmillan, 2009.
5.      Davies, Norman. Europe: a History. New York: HarperPerennial, 1998.
6.      Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary:. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2005.
7.      Merriam-Webster's Concise Dictionary. Waterville, Me.: Thorndike, 2002.
8.      Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary. [Cambridge U.a.]: Cambridge Univ., 2008.
9.      Wikipedia. Web. 12 June 2010. .
10.      "Farmer." Wikipedia. Web. 12 June 2010.
11.      "Working Poor." Wikipedia. Web. 11 June 2010.
12.      "Working Class." Wikipedia. Web. 12 June 2010
13.      "Women's Rights." Wikipedia. Web. 12 June 2010.
14.      "Women in the Workforce." Wikipedia. Web. 12 June 2010
15.      "Maritime History." Wikipedia. Web. 12 June 2010
16.      "Sailor." Wikipedia. Web. 12 June 2010.



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