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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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The Uses and Abuses of Time

The Uses and Abuses of Time

(p.73) Chapter Four. The Uses and Abuses of Time
Dead Ringers

Shehzad Nadeem

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines how transnational companies make use of what it calls time arbitrage—the exploitation of time discrepancies between geographical labor markets to make a profit. The extension of work hours through global outsourcing raises the possibility of a 24-hour work cycle. This means long hours for offshore Indian workers. The other option is the direct adoption of Western timings in offshore offices. This translates into permanent night shifts for workers as spatial and temporal disorientation are neatly combined. The chapter considers the impact of offshore workers' long, busy, and odd hours on family and friends as well as mental and physical health. It highlights the tension between the network time of corporate globalization and the prosaic rhythms of ordinary life. It shows that time arbitrage has resulted in long work hours, an intense work pace, and temporal displacement among Indian offshore workers.

Keywords:   transnational companies, time arbitrage, work hours, outsourcing, Indian workers, night shifts, health, globalization, time, temporal displacement

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