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Indian call centre workers: vanguard of a global middle class?

  • Design
  • Philosophy


The article explores how participation in the transnational interactive services industry impacts on the social identifications of Indian call centre workers. The article's analytical framework builds from Bourdieu's work on social stratification, contemporary theorizations of aesthetic labour and conceptualizations of the commodification of self as integral to aesthetic labour. The research data are drawn from a large scale survey and in-depth interviews with Indian call centre workers, focusing on their lifestyles and social values. Comparison is made with Indian and international youth cohorts. The research findings demonstrate the extent to which this group has adopted transnational middle class values and lifestyles. The article concludes that Indian call centre workers can be characterized as part of an emergent global middle class sharing common lifestyles and values with their counterparts in western countries.

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