India On The Line: Globalization, Resistance, and the Literature of Outsourcing

Stephanie Stonehewer Southmayd


This paper investigates the thematic concerns of ‘call-centre lit,’ a brand of Indo-Anglian popular fiction that includes One Night @ the Call Centre by Chetan Bhagat (2004) and India Calling by Brinda Narayan (2011), targeted at the English-speaking middle and upper-middle classes in India. Typically situated in a call-centre or multinational corporation, and featuring beleaguered and overworked young Indians, 'call-centre lit' narrates widespread middle-class concerns about globalization. These concerns primarily center on Indian identity, especially in terms of how it relates to naming and re-naming, accent neutralization, a new breed of virulent materialism, the valorization of a ‘neutralized’ form of English, and the betrayal of a social idealist tradition.


India; globalization; outsourcing; call centre; popular fiction; identity; cultural homogenization

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