The concept of Manual Labor at a Glimpse

Manual labors means, which are doing the physical work done with their hands called as a manual labor. Particularly in an unskilled job such as fruit and vegetable picking, road building, or any other field where the work may be considered physically arduous, and which has as a profitable objective, usually the production of goods.

In olden days the status of manual laborers was low, as most physical tasks were done by slaves. Legal scholar L. Ali Khan analyses how the Greeks, Hindus, the English, and the Americans created complicated social structures to outsource manual labor to distinct classes, castes, and races. This continued into the feudal period. This modest position is still reflected in such professional designations as ranch hand or stage hand, where ‘hand’ means an employee working in the named context. However, certain skilled laborers were seen as artisans, well-paid and could aspire to become influential citizens, especially professional corporations. It was sometimes referred to as “pick and shovel work.”

The phrase hard labor has even become a legal euphemism for penal labors, i.e. a custodial sentence during which the convict is not only confined but also put to manual work; such work may be productive, as on a prison farm, or essentially senseless, as with a Tread wheel, the only purpose being the effect of the punishment on the convict. Beginning with the Industrial Revolution, though, the introduction of reliable machinery further lowered the status of laborers. The reduction in status led to the worldwide labor movements of the 19th and early 20th centuries, leading to the formation of trade unions. Further technological progress leads to an increasing segment of manual labor (generally using machinery) requiring more training or even theoretical insight.

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