S-Space Kyujanggak Institute for Korean Studies (규장각한국학연구원) Korean Culture (한국문화) Korean Culture (한국문화) vol.81-84(2018)
조선후기 시전의 노동력 고용과 工錢 · 雇價 지출 : Labor Employment and Wage Payments of Sijeon (市廛) in the Late Joseon Period
- Issue Date
- 서울대학교 규장각한국학연구원
- 한국문화, Vol.82, pp. 335-375
- 시전 ; 노동력 고용 ; 工錢 ; 防口文 ; 雇價 ; Sijeon ; 市廛 ; licensed shops ; labor employment ; Gongjeon ; cost for handiwork ; Banggumun ; commutation money ; Goga ; wages for labor
- This study focuses on the relationship that Sijeon had with artisans and laborers to secure the supply of goods, and to transport goods, while the commercial system was changing during the late Joseon period. Although Sijeon, as the government-patronized market, had a close association with the Joseon government, Sijeon was also linked with the non-government production and distribution system. This paper argues that Sijeon merchants employed artisans, laborers, and porters in several areas, and had their own standards of wages and prices.
First, this paper focuses on skilled labor. In the late 18th century, artisans position toward Sijeon had evolved from a subordinate position into an independent and competitive one. Until the 18th century, artisans depended on the original Sijeon merchants to sell their products, and lost suits when the artisans competed against the original Sijeon. However, artisans began to establish new independent Sijeons, or Gongins, which guaranteed their rights of sale, and began to win their suits against Sijeon after the late 18th century.
On the other hand, the method of payment for artisans also changed. The official artisans in the early Joseon period made products through a sense of obligation or duty. Although the official artisans began to be paid a monthly salary, it was still under the concept of a reward for duty. However, in the 18th century, artisans labor began to be valued by their technical skills or production results, even in governmental fields. With these changes, Sijeon also set unit wages called Gongjeon (工錢) for artisans autonomously, after receiving the costs from the government.
Second, this paper focuses on unskilled labor. In 17th century, the corvée system was changed due to the appearance of substitute laborers. In the transportation field, the professional porter organization was formed in the 18th century. According to these changes, Sijeon members also began to depute their corvée labor to other agencies, and paid a cost called Banggumun (防口文) and imposed fines on unfaithful laborers. The wages and fines were set according to certain standards. There were also some affiliated labor organizations called Pae (牌) under Sijeon to support hard works, such as dyeing, water delivering, and packing, in the process of the government trade (進排, Jinbae). In the transportation area, Sijeon paid wages at a fixed rate for porters, 0.1% of the amount of delivered goods.
In conclusion, Sijeon systematized its organization and management system by employing professional artisans, laborers, and porters to adapt to the changes in the handicraft economy and labor system during the late Joseon period.