Seeing Like a Call Center
Firms and business units that control the technologies to handle phone calls actively constructed a global labor market for voice services. In theoretical terms, they can be considered a form of liquid “voice capital.” An analysis of consulting reports reveals how voice capital sees the world as graded according to cost and human capital. Such grading offers voice capital two potential pools of labor: India and the Philippines. The ethnographic literature on voice offshoring to India shows that there was no stable assemblage there. Men use call centers as steppingstones toward technology jobs, while women who work as call agents are stigmatized.
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