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Saying ‘Good Morning’ in the Night: The Reversal of Work Time in Global ICT Service Work

Workplace Temporalities

ISBN: 978-0-7623-1268-9, eISBN: 978-1-84950-384-6

Publication date: 1 June 2007


Workplace temporalities are being reshaped under globalization. Some scholars argue that work time is becoming more flexible, de-territorializing, and even disappearing. I provide an alternative picture of what is happening to work time by focusing on the customer service call center industry in India. Through case studies of three firms, and interviews with 80 employees, managers, and officials, I show how this industry involves a “reversal” of work time in which organizations and their employees shift their schedules entirely to the night. Rather than liberation from time, workers experience a hyper-management, rigidification, and re-territorialization of temporalities. This temporal order pervades both the physical and virtual tasks of the job, and has consequences for workers’ health, families, future careers, and the wider community of New Delhi. I argue that this trend is prompted by capital mobility within the information economy, expansion of the service sector, and global inequalities of time, and is reflective of an emerging stratification of employment temporalities across lines of the Global North and South.


Rebecca Poster, W. (2007), "Saying ‘Good Morning’ in the Night: The Reversal of Work Time in Global ICT Service Work", Rubin, B.A. (Ed.) Workplace Temporalities (Research in the Sociology of Work, Vol. 17), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 55-112.



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