1-800-Worlds: The Making of the Indian Call Centre Economy

ISBN : 9780199476053

Mathangi Krishnamurthy
272 Pages
138 x 216 mm
Pub date
Feb 2018
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1-800-Worlds chronicles the labour practices, life-worlds, and media atmospheres of Indian call centre workers, and locates them within the socio-political context of the new Indian middle classes. Through a thick description of the nightly and daily routines of transnational Indian call centre workers, it reads the call centre world as a set of indicators to understand changing forms of urban Indian middle-classness. Based on twenty-one months of ethnographic research in Pune, a prominent university town, this book investigates how young men and women between the ages of 18 and 25 became the ideal worker population for the call centre industries. Replete with stories of subjects who work through the night, sleep during the day, and listen to foreign voices in accented tongues over transnational telephone connections, it is rooted in the simultaneous spectrality and bodily intelligibility of call centre lives.


List of Figures; Acknowledgements; 1 A Call Centre Story; 2 Trespassers Will be Recruited; 3 Nocturne; 4 Eliza Doolittle; 5 The Affective Corporation; 6 Afterword; Bibliography; Index; About the Author

About the author: 

Mathangi Krishnamurthy is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, IIT Madras. She is currently pursuing a project on bodily imaginations in relation to new genetic diagnostic technologies. Her areas of interest include the anthropology of work and gender, medical anthropology, urban studies, globalization, and affective labour. She has published on questions of English language usage, the anthropology of work, and the anthropology of gender.

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