Borders in Service: Enactments of Nationhood in Transnational Call Centres

Borders in Service: Enactments of Nationhood in Transnational Call Centres

by Kiran Mirchandani, Winifred Poster

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Borders in Service traces the intersection of service labour and national identity across global call centres in seven countries: El Salvador, Guatemala, Guyana, Mauritius, Morocco, the Philippines, and the US-Mexico border. While most studies on offshore call centres have focused on India this collection explores the experiences of call center workers in many of the newly emerging hubs of transnational service work.

In this collection, Kiran Mirchandani and Winifred Poster have gathered a wide range of contributors to explore the dynamics within global call centres. Such dynamics include: language, speech, accent issues, expressions of consumer sentiment, physical space, and organizational, human resource, and labour policies. By grounding the theoretical debates on nationhood and labour in the realities of daily life in global call centres, Mirchandani and Poster have created a timely, accessible and revealing collection that will change what we know about offshored customer service work.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781487511869
Publisher: University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division
Publication date: 10/27/2016
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 288
File size: 3 MB

About the Author

Kiran Mirchandani is at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto.

Winifred Poster is at Washington University in St. Louis.

Table of Contents



Chapter 1
Enactments of Nationhood in Transnational Call Centers
Winifred R. Poster and Kiran Mirchandani

Part I:  Call Centers as Building Blocks for Narratives of the Nation-State

Chapter 2
“El Salvador Works”: The Creation and Negotiation of a National Brand and the Transnational Imaginary
Cecilia M. Rivas

Chapter 3:  Growing Downhill? Contestations of Sovereignty and the Creation of Itinerant Workers in Guyanese Call Centers
Alissa Trotz, Kiran Mirchandani, and Iman Khan

Chapter 4
‘An Island Off the West Coast of Australia:’  Multiplex Geography and the Growth of Transnational Tele-Mediated Service Work in Mauritius
Chris Benner and Jairus Rossi

Part II:  Constructing Nationally-Appropriate (and In-Appropriate) Workers

Chapter 5
We Serve the World: Everyday Nationalism and English in the Philippine Offshore Call Centers
Aileen O. Salonga         

Chapter 6
Transnational Homies and The Urban Middle Class: Enactments of Class, Nation, and Modernity in Guatemalan Call Centers
Luis Pedro Meoño Artiga        

Part III:  Caught in the Middle:  Labors of Borders and Crossings

Chapter 7
Migrations a L’Envers: Global Service work and Discursive Crossings
Sanae Elmoudden         

Chapter 8
Border Speech Between Two National Linguistic Ideologies: The Case of Bilingual El Paso Call Centers
Josiah Heyman and Amado Alarcón       


Chapter 9
Conclusions: Borders in Service
Kiran Mirchandani and Winifred R. Poster      

List of Contributors

What People are Saying About This

Bob Russell

"Borders in Service is a serious advance in state-of-the-art research. In a number of different ways, it offers a fresh take on call-centre work and its implications. The book is eminently readable."

Marjorie DeVault

"Borders in Service is a fascinating collection of studies from various disciplines that contributes in important ways to an expanding literature on transnational call-centre work.The chapters are uniformly interesting and are all well-grounded methodologically."

Customer Reviews