Shehzad Nadeem writes that the relatively high wages in the outsourcing sector have empowered a class of cultural emulators. These young Indians indulge in American-style shopping binges at glittering malls, party at upscale nightclubs, and arrange romantic trysts at exurban cafés. But while the high-tech outsourcing industry is a matter of considerable pride for India, global corporations view the industry as a low-cost, often low-skill sector. Workers use the digital tools of the information economy not to complete technologically innovative tasks but to perform grunt work and rote customer service. Long hours and the graveyard shift lead to health problems and social estrangement. Surveillance is tight, management is overweening, and workers are caught in a cycle of hope and disappointment.
Through lively ethnographic detail and subtle analysis of interviews with workers, managers, and employers, Nadeem demonstrates the culturally transformative power of globalization and its effects on the lives of the individuals at its edges.
Critically exploring the presuppositions of contemporary social theory, this collection argues for a trans-civilizational dialogue and a deepening of the universe of intellectual discourse in order to transform sociology into a truly planetary conversation on the human condition. Focusing on perspectives from Asia, notably East Asia and India, it interrogates presuppositions in contemporary critical social theory about man, culture and society, and considers central themes such as knowledge and power, knowledge and liberation. The diverse contributions tackle key questions such the globalization of social theory, identity and society in east asia, as well as issues such as biopolitics, social welfare and eurocentrism. They also examine dialogues along multiple trajectories between social theorists from the Euro-American world and from the Asian universe, such as between Kant and Gandhi, Habermas and Sri Aurobindo, the Bildung tradition in Europe and the Confucian traditions. Arguing for a global comparative engagement and cross-cultural dialogue, this is a key read for all those interested in the future of social theory in the wake of globalization and the rise of the global south.
In her groundbreaking reporting over the past few years, Naomi Klein introduced the term "disaster capitalism." Whether covering Baghdad after the U.S. occupation, Sri Lanka in the wake of the tsunami, or New Orleans post-Katrina, she witnessed something remarkably similar. People still reeling from catastrophe were being hit again, this time with economic "shock treatment," losing their land and homes to rapid-fire corporate makeovers.
The Shock Doctrine retells the story of the most dominant ideology of our time, Milton Friedman's free market economic revolution. In contrast to the popular myth of this movement's peaceful global victory, Klein shows how it has exploited moments of shock and extreme violence in order to implement its economic policies in so many parts of the world from Latin America and Eastern Europe to South Africa, Russia, and Iraq.
At the core of disaster capitalism is the use of cataclysmic events to advance radical privatization combined with the privatization of the disaster response itself. Klein argues that by capitalizing on crises, created by nature or war, the disaster capitalism complex now exists as a booming new economy, and is the violent culmination of a radical economic project that has been incubating for fifty years.
As capital crosses national borders, colonial histories and racial hierarchies become inextricably intertwined. As a result, call center workers in India need to imagine themselves in the eyes of their Western clients—to represent themselves both as foreign workers who do not threaten Western jobs and as being "just like" their customers in the West. In order to become these imagined ideal workers, they must be believable and authentic in their emulation of this ideal. In conversation with Western clients, Indian customer service agents proclaim their legitimacy, an effort Mirchandani calls "authenticity work," which involves establishing familiarity in light of expectations of difference. In their daily interactions with customers, managers and trainers, Indian call center workers reflect and reenact a complex interplay of colonial histories, gender practices, class relations, and national interests.
In this illustrated history, Steven Johnson explores the history of innovation over centuries, tracing facets of modern life (refrigeration, clocks, and eyeglass lenses, to name a few) from their creation by hobbyists, amateurs, and entrepreneurs to their unintended historical consequences. Filled with surprising stories of accidental genius and brilliant mistakes—from the French publisher who invented the phonograph before Edison but forgot to include playback, to the Hollywood movie star who helped invent the technology behind Wi-Fi and Bluetooth—How We Got to Now investigates the secret history behind the everyday objects of contemporary life.
In his trademark style, Johnson examines unexpected connections between seemingly unrelated fields: how the invention of air-conditioning enabled the largest migration of human beings in the history of the species—to cities such as Dubai or Phoenix, which would otherwise be virtually uninhabitable; how pendulum clocks helped trigger the industrial revolution; and how clean water made it possible to manufacture computer chips. Accompanied by a major six-part television series on PBS, How We Got to Now is the story of collaborative networks building the modern world, written in the provocative, informative, and engaging style that has earned Johnson fans around the globe.
"Valeria Luiselli's extended essay on her volunteer work translating for child immigrants confronts with compassion and honesty the problem of the North American refugee crisis. It's a rare thing: a book everyone should read." —Stephen Sparks, Point Reyes Books
"Tell Me How It Ends evokes empathy as it educates. It is a vital contribution to the body of post-Trump work being published in early 2017." —Katharine Solheim, Unabridged Books
"While this essay is brilliant for exactly what it depicts, it helps open larger questions, which we're ever more on the precipice of now, of where all of this will go, how all of this might end. Is this a story, or is this beyond a story? Valeria Luiselli is one of those brave and eloquent enough to help us see." —Rick Simonson, Elliott Bay Book Company
"Appealing to the language of the United States' fraught immigration policy, Luiselli exposes the cracks in this foundation. Herself an immigrant, she highlights the human cost of its brokenness, as well as the hope that it (rather than walls) might be rebuilt." —Brad Johnson, Diesel Bookstore
"The bureaucratic labyrinth of immigration, the dangers of searching for a better life, all of this and more is contained in this brief and profound work. Tell Me How It Ends is not just relevant, it's essential." —Mark Haber, Brazos Bookstore
"Humane yet often horrifying, Tell Me How It Ends offers a compelling, intimate look at a continuing crisis—and its ongoing cost in an age of increasing urgency." —Jeremy Garber, Powell's Books
What can history’s greatest breakthroughs in science and technology teach us about the future?
New Thinking: As each new stage technology builds on the previous innovations of the last, advancements begin to increase at an exponential rate. Now, more than ever, it’s important to see how we got here. What hidden stories lie behind much of the technology we use today? What drove those who invented it to do so? What were those special moments that changed the world forever? New Thinking is the story of human innovation, the story of us―through war and peace, it is humanity at our most innovative.
Disruptive technology and innovation: From the stories behind the steam engine revolution to the electric world of Tesla, to the first computers, to the invention of the internet and artificial intelligence, this book explores the hidden history of technology, discovering the secrets that have shaped our world. New Thinking brings you the stories of the men and women who thought in a new way to bring our world to where it is today.
In New Thinking: From Einstein to Artificial Intelligence, The Technology and Science That Built Our World you will delight in learning and appreciating:
• How a technology can spawn a new technology, and how they influence each other
• How our modern world came to be
• Our incredible modern world and potential for the future
If you've read books such as The Third Industrial Revolution, They Made America, or How We Got to Now, you're going to love New Thinking