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

Book Description | Table of Contents
Introduction [in PDF format]


"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


"A majority of America's Fortune 2000 companies say that off-shoring is an integral part of their growth strategy. So what's it like on the other side? Nadeem takes us into the back offices where Indian workers take American calls on all-night shifts under tough conditions. Yet workers also feel elevated by the pay and imagined participation in an American lifestyle which is, ironically, receding in the United States. An extremely well-informed and deep look at a crucial issue of the age."--Arlie Hochschild, coauthor of The Second Shift

"In this striking new work, globalization is not a slogan or abstraction: it is a living, breathing transformation of the lives of educated, middle-class young people in India who work in call centers and other back-office operations of Western corporations. With wit, irony, and literary flair, Nadeem makes vivid all the contradictions of their complicated lives. This is a window on people half a world away who, on the telephone, sound like they live next door. They do not, and the way they live has never been better portrayed."--Michael Schudson, Columbia University

"Dead Ringers is a brilliant exploration of the perplexing world that global outsourcing has wrought. With lucid and engaging prose, Nadeem shows how conspicuous consumption and exploitation are two sides of the same coin. This smart and witty book is essential reading for anyone concerned about the future of work and culture in a global age."--John Skrentny, University of California, San Diego

"Drawing on interviews, document analysis, and participant observation, this engaging book provides a nuanced, insightful analysis of the fascinating phenomenon of IT and service work outsourcing to India."--Kiran Mirchandani, University of Toronto

"This terrific and well-organized book gives a ground-up view of an industry where the costs of globalization are borne by its so-called winners--the middle-class IT and call center workers in India who have fueled production and consumption patterns, and contributed to the enlargement of the middle class. I greatly enjoyed reading this book and found it to be extremely informative."--Ethel Brooks, author of Unraveling the Garment Industry

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File created: 4/21/2017

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