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Phone ClonesAuthenticity Work in the Transnational Service Economy$
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Kiran Mirchandani

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780801450648

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801450648.001.0001

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Hate Nationalism and the Outsourcing Backlash

Hate Nationalism and the Outsourcing Backlash

(p.54) 3 Hate Nationalism and the Outsourcing Backlash
Phone Clones

Kiran Mirchandani

Cornell University Press

This chapter examines the ways in which national interests are defined and nationalisms exercised through calls between Indian customer service agents and Western customers. Through training and work process, the difference between India and the West is enacted to allow Indians to be “understood” by Westerners. Overall, this difference is constructed not only in terms of language and culture but also in terms of nationalist policies and histories. Before discussing how nationalist discourses are expressed in relation to Indian customer service work at call centers, this chapter considers how Indian customer service workers are distanced in terms of their physical location. It also looks at the dramatic shift from locational masking to the open acknowledgment of work in India in the context of Western debates on outsourcing occurring between 2003 and 2004.

Keywords:   nationalism, India, customer service agents, Western customers, customer service workers, physical location, locational masking, outsourcing, call centers, West

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