Indian IT Workers, Gendered Labor, and Transmigration
Global South Asia
Published by: University of Washington Press
224 pages, 152.00 x 229.00 mm, 0 illus
- ISBN: 9780295743554
- Published: May 2018
Tech companies such as Google, Amazon, and Microsoft promote the free flow of data worldwide, while relying on foreign temporary IT workers to build, deliver, and support their products. However, even as IT companies use technology and commerce to transcend national barriers, their transnational employees face significant migration and visa constraints. In this revealing ethnography, Amy Bhatt shines a spotlight on Indian IT migrants and their struggles to navigate career paths, citizenship, and belonging as they move between South Asia and the United States.
Through in-depth interviews, Bhatt explores the complex factors that shape IT transmigration and settlement, looking at Indian cultural norms, kinship obligations, friendship networks, gendered and racialized discrimination in the workplace, and inflexible and unstable visa regimes that create worker vulnerability. In particular, Bhatt highlights women’s experiences as workers and dependent spouses who move as part of temporary worker programs. Many of the women interviewed were professional peers to their husbands in India but found themselves “housewives” stateside, unable to secure employment because of visa restrictions. Through her focus on the unpaid and feminized placemaking and caregiving labor these women provide, Bhatt shows how women’s labor within the household is vital to the functioning of the flexible and transnational system of IT itself.
Bhatt’s ethnographic study illustrates in detail the lived reality of the men, women and children who make up this population of transmigrants – moving from India to the US, back to India and oftentimes back again to the States. Whilst focusing on the gendered dimension of these movements, the book presents a broader context of how personal and professional expectations and aspirations are affected by legal frameworks, family demands and considerations about future migrations. . . . [a] rich empiracal work.~Ethnic and Racial Studies (ERS)
An intimate look into the world of IT sector workers from India who live and work in places like Redmond, Bellevue, Kirkland and Seattle . . . highlights the calculated decisions many of these young families make to ensure their own financial stability and maintain connections with both U.S. and India.~International Examiner
intimate look into the world of IT sector workers from India who live and work in places like Redmond, Bellevue, Kirkland and Seattle in Washington state.~International Examiner