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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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Cyber-Coolies and Techno-Populists

Cyber-Coolies and Techno-Populists

(p.192) Chapter Eight. Cyber-Coolies and Techno-Populists
Dead Ringers

Shehzad Nadeem

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines the normative visions that animate globalization: namely, the cosmopolitan ideologies of global capitalism and labor's internationalist challenges to them. Using the idea of an economy of utopia, it demonstrates how these universalizing ideals are transformed through their application in particular contexts. More specifically, it considers how capital and labor are adjusted to accommodate distinct political and economic realities. The chapter begins with a discussion of what it calls business cosmopolitanism and how the realities of uneven development, poor infrastructure, and a labor shortage in India lead executives and their political allies to espouse a vision of techno-populism that is more politically viable. It then explores the ideal of worker internationalism, along with the assertion that workers' individualism and indifference to unions are a species of false consciousness. Finally, it describes work sites as branded electronic sweatshops and workers as cybercoolies.

Keywords:   globalization, global capitalism, labor, utopia, capital, business cosmopolitanism, techno-populism, worker internationalism, unions, cybercoolies

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