Negotiating Globalization: Men and Women of India's Call Centers


A. Aneesh, Department of Sociology, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Bolton Hall 710, PO Box 413, Milwaukee, WI 53201; Tel: 414–229-2234/414–229-4266 [e-mail:].


Most accounts of globalization are accounts of economic integration and cultural flows. There are few studies, however, of the ways global processes enter into an individual's personality. Based on a yearlong ethnographic study of India's international call centers in 2004–2005, this article examines how global integrations are felt, experienced, negotiated, and embodied by call center agents. Reformulating the thesis of system and lifeworld, this study aims to examine the globalization of the lifeworld, uncovering the effects of global system integration on the lifeworld. As sites of real-time communicative integration across continents, India's call centers are revealing of the ways in which concrete social and personal lives are subordinated to global system imperatives, integrating in real time two different linguistic worlds in radically different time zones.