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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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Authenticity Work in the Transnational Service Economy

(p.133) Conclusion
Phone Clones

Kiran Mirchandani

Cornell University Press

This book has explored the authenticity work of customer service workers in India, revealing the proactive, conscious, and continual negotiation of sameness and difference that characterizes the transnational service economy. It has shown how authenticity work sheds light on the work of establishing legitimacy in the context of colonial histories and transnational economic relations. It has considered how authenticity work requires Indian customer service agents to be phone clones—simultaneously similar and different from their Western customers. The book concludes by discussing the notion of authenticity in relation to the microprocesses of economic globalization. It argues that call center agents suffer from a gaping hole in regulatory entitlements in the context of contemporary neoliberalism, such as employer violations of their terms of employment.

Keywords:   authenticity work, customer service workers, India, transnational service economy, colonial histories, transnational economic relations, Western customers, globalization, call center agents, neoliberalism

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