Towards an Anthropology of Globalization
Edited by Subhabrata Bobby Banerjee, Vanessa C.M. Chio and Raza Mir
Chapter 8: Cultural Mimicry and Hybridity: On the Work of Identity in International Call Centers in India
Diya Das and Ravi Dharwadkar he no longer recognizes the distinction between waking and dreaming states; he understands now something of what omnipresence must be like, because he is moving through several stories at once. (Salman Rushdie, The Satanic Verses 1988: 457) INTRODUCTION The concept of ‘identity’ in organization studies, in both its noun and verb (to identify) forms, has been an extremely ‘integrative and generative’ one that has been able to travel at multiple levels of conceptual analyses (Albert et al., 2000). Many of the studies on this concept have sought to explain the phenomena of self-deﬁnition that are associated with an individual’s experiences within the workplace. The foci of these studies have tried to explain a variety of issues such as the process of role identiﬁcations or organizational identiﬁcations (and disidentiﬁcations), the processes by which management fosters such identiﬁcations, and the beneﬁts (or not) derived from that, and so on (for a review, see Whetten and Godfrey, 1998). Some studies within this ﬁeld have tried to understand the complications that can arise in the process of identiﬁcation. For example, researchers have studied the complications that arise within racially diverse organizations, and how employees constantly negotiate their speciﬁc racial identity stereotypes and professional identities within the workplace (Bell, 1990; Chattopadhyay et al., 2004; Ellemers et al., 2002; Roberts, 2005). Other studies have also explored the complications that arise when there is ambiguous organizational membership, as in the case of contract workers...
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