South Asia Institute
South Asia Institute

Institute Brown Bag

Join us as a South Asianist graduate student, Reena Patel, previews research to be presented at the AAG (Association of American Geographers) Annual Conference.

Thu, April 12, 2007 | Meyerson Conference Room, WCH 4.118

12:30 PM - 1:00 PM

Reena describes her paper as follows: "The hyper-growth of the transnational call center industry in India represents the emergence of a “second shift,” namely a night shift labor force in the global economy. Specific to the urban nightscape, women’s mobility and access to public space intersects with the spatial and temporal construction of gender. The nightscape is primarily an exclusive, male domain. For example, the Indian 1948 Factories Act states: no women shall be required or allowed to work in any factory except between the hours of 6 A.M. and 7 P.M. Only as of March, 2005 was this act amended. In light of such dynamics, qualitative research methods such as participant observation and in-depth interviews were used to investigate how the global demand for 24-hour workers is re-configuring women’s physical, temporal, social, and economic mobility because of the night shift requirement of call center employment. Another key concern is how households respond to changes in women’s mobility. Dissertation fieldwork was conducted in 2006 in both Mumbai and Bangalore. Initial findings suggest that the presence of women in the urban nightscape is met with covert resistance. Although there are no visible barriers such as “men only” signs written into public space, women’s bodies continue to be marked as a site of transgression."

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