Title

Outsourcing Identities: Call Centres and Cultural Transformation in India

Publication Date

1-21-2006

Document Type

Article

Abstract

As vans with tinted windows creep at night into middle class, urban neighbourhoods in India, spiriting away young men and women to work until dawn at multinational call centres, identities are transfigured, the local making uneasy room for the lucrative global. Following the short-lived dotcom boom in India (2000-02), Information Technology Enabled Services-Business Process Outsourcing was first considered by many infotech industry watchers as a capricious venture, liable to crash due to poor infrastructure. The phenomenal success of BPOs, particularly call centres, continues in 2005, offering high-school and college English-speaking graduates quick employment with comparatively high wages. Through empirical research, this article addresses the transformation of Indian urban labour into a global proletariat. The paper focuses on the role call centres play in unmooring local identities to construct transnational labour identities for a neocolonialist workplace.

Publication Title

Economic And Political Weekly

Volume

41

Issue

3

First Page

235

Last Page

241

Version

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