Global Shifts and Local Actors. Revising Macro-Level Theories on the Relocation of Textile Production From the Lens of the Household in the Netherlands and Java, c.1820-1940.

The location of major textile manufacturing centers has shifted several times over the past 250 years, from Asia to Europe and the US, then back to Asia. Mainstream explanations for these shifts take a macro-approach and hence oversimplify the mechanisms behind them. We investigate these mechanisms at the micro-level of the household to gain a deeper understanding of the relocations of textile production worldwide. We do so by studying Dutch and Javanese households' productive and consumptive behaviour in the period 1820-1940, when colonial relations between these two regions played an important role. We show that households' labour allocation, livelihood strategies, and consumption preferences are crucial to understand the interaction between global shifts and local actors.

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