[V23-N2-4] Recasting respectability: Imagination, desire and modernity among call-center workers in India

Author Swati Mishra
Date 2017년 6월




This article explores changing gendered identities of young, unmarried, Indian, middle class women who work in transnational call centres (TNCs) in Bangalore, within the broader context of cultural globalization. While the entry of these organizations has enhanced employment opportunities for the younger population in India, the workplace presents a contested cultural terrain to its female workers, who uphold their traditional class values as an integral part of their modern identities. I portray the richness and depth of the changing aspirations towards individualization, careers and marriage of such women, who migrate from semi-urban areas and become part of a global cultural space. Based on ethnographic research, I suggest that, while these young women frequently frame themselves as dutiful daughters, their attitudes and actions point towards reconfigurations of their identities as modern, professional Indian women, skilled in navigating the altered cultural and economic contexts of their lives in Bangalore.

KEYWORDS: Call center, habitus, Bangalore, reflexivity, gender, young women