Laure Piguet | Associate Postgraduate
Université de Genève – Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne
Laure Piguet is a teaching assistant and a PhD student in contemporary history at the University of Geneva and Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne. She obtained a Master of Arts in 2015 and defended a dissertation on epistolary writing, focusing on the role of letters in family life and in women's lives at the end of the nineteenth century. She is currently preparing a doctoral thesis entitled Statistiques et émancipation ouvrière. Le rôle et les usages des chiffres dans la transformation de l'organisation du travail (France et Grande-Bretagne, années 1770-1840), a research directed by Sandrine Kott (University of Geneva) and Roser Cussó (University of Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne).
The aim of this doctoral research is to study the links between workers' struggles and statistics in France and Great Britain. It looks at the production of statistical data on living and working conditions as an instrument of struggle within the world of work. The presence of figures is both an important and recurrent feature of workers' struggles, calling for a review of certain aspects of the history of these struggles and of the history of statistics and workers' surveys. In order to trace the origins of this use as far as possible, this research focuses on the early days of workers' actions in the contemporary period (1770-1840). The hypothesis underlying this research is that the data produced in the context of workers' struggles in the nineteenth century contributed to the development of what was to become, from the second half of the nineteenth century onwards, the corpus of 'labour statistics', i.e. data measuring the living and working conditions of the working classes.