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Neutral Accent: How Language, Labor, and Life Become Global (Hardback)
  • Neutral Accent: How Language, Labor, and Life Become Global (Hardback)
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Neutral Accent: How Language, Labor, and Life Become Global (Hardback)

(author)
£68.00
Hardback 168 Pages / Published: 15/05/2015
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In Neutral Accent, A. Aneesh employs India's call centers as useful sites for studying global change. The horizon of global economic shift, the consequences of global integration, and the ways in which call center work "neutralizes" racial, ethnic, and national identities become visible from the confines of their cubicles. In his interviews with call service workers and in his own work in a call center in the high tech metropolis of Gurgoan, India, Aneesh observed the difficulties these workers face in bridging cultures, laws, and economies: having to speak in an accent that does not betray their ethnicity, location, or social background; learning foreign social norms; and working graveyard shifts to accommodate international customers. Call center work is cast as independent of place, space, and time, and its neutrality-which Aneesh defines as indifference to difference-has become normal business practice in a global economy. The work of call center employees in the globally integrated marketplace comes at a cost, however, as they become disconnected from the local interactions and personal relationships that make their lives anything but neutral.

Publisher: Duke University Press
ISBN: 9780822358466
Number of pages: 168
Weight: 358 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 15 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
"This insightful look at the underbelly of globalisation reveals a workplace that is sustained by the painful "differentiations" that have been imposed on its workers.... Where his critique of globalisation succeeds best is in creating a convincing framework that exposes the "disintegration of the self from its place of socialization and meaning" brought about by the mechanisms of globalisation, in which both global workers and consumers become entities targeted for profit." -- Lalita Murty * Times Higher Education *
"Aneesh's book is a delight to read. He writes with the ease and knowledge of a uniquely-positioned repeat ethnographer due to his long personal and intellectual investment in the region. His methodology includes not only interviews with workers and managers, but also his own experience as an employee at a call centre in Gurgaon. His empathy for and connection with the participants in his study allows readers to experience their aspirations and challenges too" -- Kiran Mirchandani * South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies *
"...this book is an excellent contribution to a growing and significant body of literature on globalizing processes and the Indian call center industry." -- J.K.T. Basi * American Journal of Sociology *
"I got more than I bargained for as I found geography, law, marketing and biology also thrown into the discussion and Aneesh was providing me with a tour de force as a Renaissance man." -- Peter K.W. Tan * Asian Journal of Social Science *
"Neutral Accent is a tightly argued and well-researched account of a dense and unruly phenomenon, and should be essential reading for scholars of globalization, work, virtuality, and identity." -- Mathangi Krishnamurthy * Anthropological Quarterly *
"In Neutral Accent, Aneesh has produced a well-written, clear, and concise manuscript that unravels how communication actually works in so-called centers of cross-cultural interaction. He provides several important and creative contributions to our knowledge about globalization, inequality, identity construction, and work, and does so by locating the multiple disconnections that are reproduced when people of different groups virtually meet."
-- Victoria Reyes * Contemporary Sociology *

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