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Dead RingersHow Outsourcing Is Changing the Way Indians Understand Themselves$
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Shehzad Nadeem

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780691147871

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691147871.001.0001

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Macaulay’s (Cyber) Children

Macaulay’s (Cyber) Children

(p.50) Chapter Three. Macaulay’s (Cyber) Children
Dead Ringers

Shehzad Nadeem

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines how globalization affects the identities and aspirations of outsourcing workers, managers, and employers. It first considers the rise of a “new middle class” in India and whether middle-class Indians can be meaningfully described as today's “mimic men” (and women) before discussing the ways that companies shape the identities and behavior of the employees within the workplace. It shows that Indian workers find the adoption of foreign accents, identities, and timings both exciting and disorienting. They increasingly identify with lifestyles and customs that are global in reach. Executives and managers, too, use their close engagement with the West to define themselves as something other than the “traditional” Indian. The chapter argues that globalization gives rise to an Indian morality play where the pleasure principle clashes with the demands of custom and obligation, where an uneasy relationship between kama (pleasure) and dharma (duty) is established.

Keywords:   globalization, identities, outsourcing, middle class, Indian workers, accents, lifestyles, customs, morality, pleasure principle

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