Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Phone ClonesAuthenticity Work in the Transnational Service Economy$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Kiran Mirchandani

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780801450648

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801450648.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM Cornell University Press SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.cornell.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Cornell University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in Cornell for personal use. date: 30 May 2020

Introduction

Introduction

The Authentic Clone

Chapter:
(p.1) Introduction
Source:
Phone Clones
Author(s):

Kiran Mirchandani

Publisher:
Cornell University Press
DOI:10.7591/cornell/9780801450648.003.0001

This book explores how the negotiation of authenticity becomes a central part of transnational customer service work as a result of the exchange of labor and capital that occurs in the context of national histories and power inequities. More specifically, it considers how workers housed in cubicled call centers in India enter into a complex interplay of colonial histories, class relations, and national interests, which are embedded within their authenticity work—the work of being oneself and simultaneously like someone faraway imagines one should be. It shows that becoming a phone clone involves emulating, through voice, an ideal transnational call center worker who is both close to and distant from customers in the West. By studying the experiences of Indian customer service agents, this book sheds light on a wide range of service-related activities that cross national borders, from Filipino nannies refashioning themselves to clone faraway employers' visions of ideal caregivers, to health workers in Mexico servicing American medical tourists.

Keywords:   authenticity, transnational customer service, call centers, India, colonial histories, class relations, authenticity work, customer service agents, phone clone

Cornell Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.