Invisible Labour : Support Service Workers in India’s Information Technology Industry book cover
1st Edition

Invisible Labour
Support Service Workers in India’s Information Technology Industry

ISBN 9780367336493
Published October 6, 2020 by Routledge India
190 Pages 20 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This book investigates the life, working conditions, and urban experiences of support service workers, such as janitors, security guards, culinary workers and carpool drivers, in the information technology (IT) sector of India.

Largely omitted from academic discourse, support service workers are crucial to the Indian IT industry. Drawing on interviews with such workers in seven Indian cities with a large concentration of software service companies, this volume:

  • Uses quantitative and qualitative analyses to map and assess workers' responses to migration from rural occupations to a modern urban employment setting;
  • Explores the everyday grind of migrant workers in the context of the homogenizing effects of globalization in an alienating urban environment and discusses how their dislodgment from the structures of rural life – gender and caste roles – has placed them in a space of contestation between traditions and the opportunities and challenges offered by digital society in the form of freedom, individualism, flexibility and innovation;
  • Traces the evolution of new areas of class, and identity formations, as well as the hegemonic relations within that ethos imposed by contractors and corporations.

The volume will be of great interest to scholars and researchers of sociology and social anthropology, urban studies, development studies, labour studies, social exclusion and South Asian studies.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: Technology and Change: Ancillary Workers in the Indian IT Industry 2. Flat World, Globalization and Indian IT 3. Collection, Interpretation and Analysis of Data 4. Time, Place and Space 5. Women Workers’ Narratives of Precarious Work and Social Struggle 6. Conflicts and Adjustments: An Anatomy of Changing Social Relations 7. Labour Process, Control and Discipline 8. Conclusion: Whistling into the Typhoon

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Indranil Chakraborty works as adjunct faculty at Lawrence Kinlin School of Business, Fanshawe College, London, Ontario, Canada. He has a PhD in information and media studies from the University of Western Ontario and works in the areas of media, technology and labour. He has teaching experience in media and communication studies, politics and economics at the University of Western Ontario and Simon Fraser University. He has also worked over a decade as a journalist with prominent South Asian publications such as The Indian Express and The Financial Express, reporting on public policy, economic issues and information technology in India.