Manual labour in the post-industrial world: a study on shoe craft in St. Petersburg, Russia

Статья по результатам проекта "Институционализация сапожного ремесла в современном городском пространстве: на примере Санкт-Петербурга (Россия) и Мумбаи (Индия)"

The article provides the results of sociological study of manual labour in St. Petersburg, Russia. It is focused on a shoemaking, a very conventional craft in the contemporary urban environment. We start with theoretical background and definitions of craft from the standpoints of economics and sociology; then, in order to reveal the impact of industrialisation on manual labour, we trace the history and explain the evolution of shoemaking in Russia in the 19th and 20th centuries; next, we describe in economic terms how this small business of shoemaking is organised nowadays and how it competes with the mid-size business in St. Petersburg; in the discussions, we present the explanatory models of craft's reproduction in contemporary urban environment. The main idea of this article is to reveal the supporting social structures like labour migration or ethnic communities for sustainable reproduction of craft and manual labour in the post-industrial world.

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