Dead Ringers: How Outsourcing Is Changing the Way Indians Understand Themselves

Overview

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 ...

See more details below
Paperback (Reprint)
$17.37
BN.com price
(Save 30%)$24.95 List Price
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (13) from $15.98   
  • New (9) from $15.98   
  • Used (4) from $16.75   
Dead Ringers: How Outsourcing Is Changing the Way Indians Understand Themselves

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook - Course Book)
$16.49
BN.com price
(Save 33%)$24.95 List Price
Sending request ...

Overview

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.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Nature - Andrew Robinson
[Nadeem] offers concrete and important insight into the world of outsourcing. . . . One cannot help agreeing with the author that the brave new IT world documented in his interviews disturbs more than it shines.
Asian Affairs - May-Lee Chai
Dead Ringers is an excellent resource for both students and scholars and should be required reading for policymakers, whose faith in or distrust of globalization may miss its very point: 'economic growth should be recognized not [as] an end in itself but as means toward the realization of diverse human potentialities.'
India Review - Sareeta Amrute
Nadeem's account of the relationship between new economy management styles and labor rights is especially illuminating.
Journal of Intercultural Studies - Zachary Condon
Dead Ringers' insightful and articulate contribution proves to be a fruitful, engaging, provocative response to the questions asked by anyone that ever found themselves talking to an Indian call centre worker and wondered what it would look, smell, feel and sound like on the other end of the line.
Businessworld - Jajodia
This is an important book. The tone of the book is academic and the style difficult, and some may disagree with the Marxian framework used, it is well worth a read for anyone who wishes to understand the sociological dynamics of this fledgling industry.
Asian Review of Books - Maura Elizabeth Cunningham
After speaking with dozens of employees from call centers and white-collar subsidiaries of multinational firms, Nadeem questions the optimistic and conventional view that outsourcing, and globalization in general, benefits Indians. His concerns are not economic—those employed in the outsourcing industry certainly do earn comparatively higher salaries—but rather on the effect that outsourcing has on individual workers and Indian society as a whole.
Choice
Sociolgist Nadeem explores the Indian call center industry and its effects on its workers, a topic with relatively little scholarly literature. . . . The book covers a lot of ground, analyzing call center lifestyles in terms of language, time, gender, class, work culture, and shifting notions of morality. . . . Overall, the book is useful to graduate students or faculty interested in how globalization operates at the local level or in the outsourcing industry.
Administrative Science Quarterly - Sriram Narayanan
[T]he book poses several more questions than it answers, a characteristic that provides fertile ground for organizational scholars to find questions to investigate. The book should appeal to organizational scholars, business professionals, and policy makers alike.
Contemporary Sociology - Mangala Subramaniam
The main contribution of this book lies in the social and cultural analyses of work sites and workers as their lives unfold through a typical day-night set of activities monitored in ways that may appear to reduce workers into objects. . . . [It] captures broadly the contradictions involved in the lives of workers of the outsourcing industry, as well as actions of the Indian state.
American Journal of Sociology
Armed with sensitive ethnographic detail and careful attention to the material and symbolic structures of the global economy. . . . Nadeem ushers us into the everyday texture of the outsourcing industry, where he focuses on the ironic, funny, and often troubling everyday lives of the people who constitute it.
American Journal of Sociology - Smitha Radhakrishnan
Nadeem's carefully crafted prose, literary style, and incisive critique make this book an important and timely contribution to the burgeoning sociological literature on outsourcing, asserting a dark critique of the economic and cultural processes that legitimate a peculiar consumerist-worker in India. His bold engagement with prevailing claims about contemporary India serves to debunk stereotypes, producing an original, empirically grounded, and politically astute narrative of one of globalization's hot spots.
From the Publisher
Finalist for the 2011 C. Wright Mills Award, Society for the Study of Social Problems

"[Nadeem] offers concrete and important insight into the world of outsourcing. . . . One cannot help agreeing with the author that the brave new IT world documented in his interviews disturbs more than it shines."—Andrew Robinson, Nature

"Dead Ringers is an excellent resource for both students and scholars and should be required reading for policymakers, whose faith in or distrust of globalization may miss its very point: 'economic growth should be recognized not [as] an end in itself but as means toward the realization of diverse human potentialities.'"—May-Lee Chai, Asian Affairs

"Nadeem's account of the relationship between new economy management styles and labor rights is especially illuminating."—Sareeta Amrute, India Review

"Dead Ringers' insightful and articulate contribution proves to be a fruitful, engaging, provocative response to the questions asked by anyone that ever found themselves talking to an Indian call centre worker and wondered what it would look, smell, feel and sound like on the other end of the line."—Zachary Condon, Journal of Intercultural Studies

"This is an important book. The tone of the book is academic and the style difficult, and some may disagree with the Marxian framework used, it is well worth a read for anyone who wishes to understand the sociological dynamics of this fledgling industry."—Jajodia, Businessworld

"After speaking with dozens of employees from call centers and white-collar subsidiaries of multinational firms, Nadeem questions the optimistic and conventional view that outsourcing, and globalization in general, benefits Indians. His concerns are not economic—those employed in the outsourcing industry certainly do earn comparatively higher salaries—but rather on the effect that outsourcing has on individual workers and Indian society as a whole."—Maura Elizabeth Cunningham, Asian Review of Books

"Sociolgist Nadeem explores the Indian call center industry and its effects on its workers, a topic with relatively little scholarly literature. . . . The book covers a lot of ground, analyzing call center lifestyles in terms of language, time, gender, class, work culture, and shifting notions of morality. . . . Overall, the book is useful to graduate students or faculty interested in how globalization operates at the local level or in the outsourcing industry."Choice

"[T]he book poses several more questions than it answers, a characteristic that provides fertile ground for organizational scholars to find questions to investigate. The book should appeal to organizational scholars, business professionals, and policy makers alike."—Sriram Narayanan, Administrative Science Quarterly

"The main contribution of this book lies in the social and cultural analyses of work sites and workers as their lives unfold through a typical day-night set of activities monitored in ways that may appear to reduce workers into objects. . . . [It] captures broadly the contradictions involved in the lives of workers of the outsourcing industry, as well as actions of the Indian state."—Mangala Subramaniam, Contemporary Sociology

"Armed with sensitive ethnographic detail and careful attention to the material and symbolic structures of the global economy. . . . Nadeem ushers us into the everyday texture of the outsourcing industry, where he focuses on the ironic, funny, and often troubling everyday lives of the people who constitute it."American Journal of Sociology

"Nadeem's carefully crafted prose, literary style, and incisive critique make this book an important and timely contribution to the burgeoning sociological literature on outsourcing, asserting a dark critique of the economic and cultural processes that legitimate a peculiar consumerist-worker in India. His bold engagement with prevailing claims about contemporary India serves to debunk stereotypes, producing an original, empirically grounded, and politically astute narrative of one of globalization's hot spots."—Smitha Radhakrishnan, American Journal of Sociology

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691159652
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 9/23/2013
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Shehzad Nadeem is assistant professor of sociology at the City University of New York, Lehman College.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xi
Introduction 1
Chapter One. Leaps of Faith 14
Chapter Two. Variations on a Theme 27
Chapter Three. Macaulay’s (Cyber) Children 50
Chapter Four. The Uses and Abuses of Time 73
Chapter Five. The Rules of the Game 102
Chapter Six. The Infantilizing Gaze, or Schmidt Revisited 132
Chapter Seven. The Juggernaut of Global Capitalism 169
Chapter Eight. Cyber-Coolies and Techno-Populists 192
Conclusion. 213
Appendix. Research Methods 221
Notes 227
Index 265

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)