Working The Night Shift

Author : Reena Patel
ISBN : 9780804775502
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 83.67 MB
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Relatively high wages and the opportunity to be part of an upscale, globalized work environment draw many in India to the call center industry. At the same time, night shift employment presents women, in particular, with new challenges alongside the opportunities. This book explores how beliefs about what constitutes "women's work" are evolving in response to globalization. Working the Night Shift is the first in-depth study of the transnational call center industry that is written from the point of view of women workers. It uncovers how call center employment affects their lives, mainly as it relates to the anxiety that Indian families and Indian society have towards women going out at night, earning a good salary, and being exposed to western culture. This timely account illustrates the ironic and, at times, unsettling experiences of women who enter the spaces and places made accessible through call center work. Visit the author's website at and facebook group.
Category: Social Science

Working The Night Shift

Author : Reena Patel
ISBN : 9780804769143
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 47.74 MB
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This book uncovers how working the night shift at India's transnational call centers affects the lives of women workers.
Category: Business & Economics

Working The Night Shift

Author : Reena Patel
ISBN : 1243515694
Genre :
File Size : 65.13 MB
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In the past decade, a night shift labor force has gained momentum in the global economy. The hyper-growth of the transnational call center industry in India provides a quintessential example. The night shift requirement of the transnational call industry also intersects with the spatial and temporal construction of gender. Research conducted in 2006 in Mumbai, Bangalore, and Ahmedabad indicates that the nightscape is primarily a male domain (with the exception of prostitutes, bar dancers, and call girls) and women's entry into this domain generates a range of diverse responses from call centers, their employees, the employees' families, the media, and the Indian public. This research illustrates that there is no linear outcome to how working the night shift at a call center affects women's lives. Even though the global nature of the work combined with the relatively high salary is viewed as a liberating force in the lives of workers, in actuality women simultaneously experience opening and constriction for working in the industry. Through the collection of interviews, focus group data, and participant observation gathered during 10 months of fieldwork in India, I examine female night shift workers' physical, temporal, social, and economic mobility to illustrate how global night shift labor is intersecting with the lives of women in ironic and unsettling ways. Call center employment certainly changes the temporal mobility of some women because it provides them with a legitimate reason to leave the house at night, whereas before this was considered unacceptable. Concerns about promiscuity and "bad character" related to working at night are deflected by linking employment to skill acquisition, high wages, and a contribution to the household. Women's safety---a code word for their reputation---is preserved by segregating them, via private transport, from the other women of the night. Women consequently become more physically and economically mobile, but through the use of what I term mobility-morality narratives, households continue to maintain regimes of surveillance and control over when and how women come and go. Similarly their social mobility is limited by obligations to support family members and conform to gendered notions of a woman's place.

One Night At The Call Center

Author : Chetan Bhagat
ISBN : 0307489086
Genre : Fiction
File Size : 61.60 MB
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Press 1 for technical support. Press 2 for broken hearts. Press 3 if your life has totally crashed. . . . Six friends work nights at a call center in India, providing technical support for a major U.S. appliance corporation. Skilled in patience–and accent management–they help American consumers keep their lives running. Yet behind the headsets, everybody’s heart is on the line. Shyam (Sam to his callers) has lost his self-confidence after being dumped by the girl who just so happens to be sitting next to him. Priyanka’s domineering mother has arranged for her daughter’s upscale marriage to an Indian man in Seattle. Esha longs to be a model but discovers it’s a horizontal romp to the runway. Lost, dissatisfied Vroom has high ideals, but compromises them by talking on the phone to idiots each night. Traditional Radhika has just found out that her husband is sleeping with his secretary. And Military Uncle (nobody knows his real name) sits alone working the online chat. They all try to make it through their shifts–and maintain their sanity–under the eagle eye of a boss whose ego rivals his incompetence. But tonight is no ordinary night. Tonight is Thanksgiving in America: Appliances are going haywire, and the phones are ringing off their hooks. Then one call, from one very special caller, changes everything. Chetan Bhagat’s delicious romantic comedy takes us inside the world of the international call center, where cultural cross-wires come together with perfect pathos, hilarity, and spice. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Category: Fiction

Phone Clones

Author : Kiran Mirchandani
ISBN : 9780801464614
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 35.97 MB
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Transnational customer service workers are an emerging touchstone of globalization given their location at the intersecting borders of identity, class, nation, and production. Unlike outsourced manufacturing jobs, call center work requires voice-to-voice conversation with distant customers; part of the product being exchanged in these interactions is a responsive, caring, connected self. In Phone Clones, Kiran Mirchandani explores the experiences of the men and women who work in Indian call centers through one hundred interviews with workers in Bangalore, Delhi, and Pune. As capital crosses national borders, colonial histories and racial hierarchies become inextricably intertwined. As a result, call center workers in India need to imagine themselves in the eyes of their Western clients-to represent themselves both as foreign workers who do not threaten Western jobs and as being "just like" their customers in the West. In order to become these imagined ideal workers, they must be believable and authentic in their emulation of this ideal. In conversation with Western clients, Indian customer service agents proclaim their legitimacy, an effort Mirchandani calls "authenticity work," which involves establishing familiarity in light of expectations of difference. In their daily interactions with customers, managers and trainers, Indian call center workers reflect and reenact a complex interplay of colonial histories, gender practices, class relations, and national interests.
Category: Social Science


Author : Craig Jeffrey
ISBN : 9780804775137
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 51.58 MB
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Social and economic changes around the globe have propelled increasing numbers of people into situations of chronic waiting, where promised access to political freedoms, social goods, or economic resources is delayed, often indefinitely. But there have been few efforts to reflect on the significance of "waiting" in the contemporary world. Timepass fills this gap by offering a captivating ethnography of the student politics and youth activism that lower middle class young men in India have undertaken in response to pervasive underemployment. It highlights the importance of waiting as a social experience and basis for political mobilization, the micro-politics of class power in north India, and the socio-economic strategies of lower middle classes. The book also explores how this north Indian story relates to practices of waiting occurring in multiple other contexts, making the book of interest to scholars and students of globalization, youth studies, and class across the social sciences.
Category: Social Science

Our Women Are Free

Author : Wynne Maggi
ISBN : 0472067834
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 21.85 MB
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An exploration of the lives of women among the Kalasha, a tiny, vibrant community in Pakistan's North West Frontier Province
Category: Social Science

Dead Ringers

Author : Shehzad Nadeem
ISBN : 1400836697
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 32.64 MB
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In the Indian outsourcing industry, employees are expected to be "dead ringers" for the more expensive American workers they have replaced--complete with Westernized names, accents, habits, and lifestyles that are organized around a foreign culture in a distant time zone. Dead Ringers chronicles the rise of a workforce for whom mimicry is a job requirement and a passion. In the process, the book deftly explores the complications of hybrid lives and presents a vivid portrait of a workplace where globalization carries as many downsides as advantages. Shehzad Nadeem writes that the relatively high wages in the outsourcing sector have empowered a class of cultural emulators. These young Indians indulge in American-style shopping binges at glittering malls, party at upscale nightclubs, and arrange romantic trysts at exurban cafés. But while the high-tech outsourcing industry is a matter of considerable pride for India, global corporations view the industry as a low-cost, often low-skill sector. Workers use the digital tools of the information economy not to complete technologically innovative tasks but to perform grunt work and rote customer service. Long hours and the graveyard shift lead to health problems and social estrangement. Surveillance is tight, management is overweening, and workers are caught in a cycle of hope and disappointment. Through lively ethnographic detail and subtle analysis of interviews with workers, managers, and employers, Nadeem demonstrates the culturally transformative power of globalization and its effects on the lives of the individuals at its edges.
Category: Social Science

Dying The Good Death

Author : Christopher Justice
ISBN : 0791432610
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 24.61 MB
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Exploring the Hindu concepts of good and bad deaths, this rich ethnography follows pilgrims who choose to travel to the holy city of Kashi to die.
Category: Social Science