• View author and book videos on our YouTube channel.

  • Appropriately Indian: Gender and Culture in a New Transnational Class

    Author(s):
    Pages: 256
    Illustrations: 13 illustrations, 1 table
    Sales/Territorial Rights: World
  • Cloth: $89.95 - In Stock
    978-0-8223-4843-6
  • Paperback: $24.95 - In Stock
    978-0-8223-4870-2
  • Quantity
  • Add To Bag
  • Acknowledgments ix

    Introduction: On Background 1

    1. Privilege: Situating India's Transnational Class 25

    2. Global/Indian: Cultural Politics in the IT Workplace 53

    3. Merit: Ideologies of Achievement in the Knowledge Economy 87

    4. Individuals: Narratives of Embedded Slaves 115

    5. Family: Gendered "Balance" and the Everyday Production of the Nation 145

    6. Religion: When the Private is Transnational 173

    Conclusion: Apolitical Politics 199

    Notes 207

    Bibliography 215

    Index 227
  • Appropriately Indian is a highly readable, richly detailed, and insightful contribution to the literature on transnationalism and contributes to the social sciences in moving the referent from the state to everyday strategies of identity.”

    “Smitha Radhakrishnan gives us a textured account of members of a new transnational class represented by India’s skilled knowledge professionals who have indeed played a leading role in the global IT industry. Her wide-ranging interviews reveal the ways in which they craft their identities by bridging Indian cultural practices with Western work practices and values.... I find this book to be timely, engaging, and a valuable insight into a group that belongs to a growing class of transnational professionals.”

    “This book is a strong rebuttal to the popular argument that neoliberal economic policies have opened the doors of opportunity for all. Instead
    it offers important insights into how local cultures and internal hierarchies shape the nature of cultural and economic globalization.... [T]his
    is an exceptionally well written and theoretically rich book that will be a great addition to graduate and upper-level undergraduate courses on
    transnationalism, globalization, culture, development, sociological theories, or South Asian studies.”

    Appropriately Indian is an innovative sociological study of Indian IT professionals, mainly women, and the cultural and social changes in post-liberalization India that are revealed by their narratives about their work and personal experiences…. the monograph is a must-read for scholars of contemporary south Asia, globalization, and the sociology of work, class, and gender.” 

    Reviews

  • Appropriately Indian is a highly readable, richly detailed, and insightful contribution to the literature on transnationalism and contributes to the social sciences in moving the referent from the state to everyday strategies of identity.”

    “Smitha Radhakrishnan gives us a textured account of members of a new transnational class represented by India’s skilled knowledge professionals who have indeed played a leading role in the global IT industry. Her wide-ranging interviews reveal the ways in which they craft their identities by bridging Indian cultural practices with Western work practices and values.... I find this book to be timely, engaging, and a valuable insight into a group that belongs to a growing class of transnational professionals.”

    “This book is a strong rebuttal to the popular argument that neoliberal economic policies have opened the doors of opportunity for all. Instead
    it offers important insights into how local cultures and internal hierarchies shape the nature of cultural and economic globalization.... [T]his
    is an exceptionally well written and theoretically rich book that will be a great addition to graduate and upper-level undergraduate courses on
    transnationalism, globalization, culture, development, sociological theories, or South Asian studies.”

    Appropriately Indian is an innovative sociological study of Indian IT professionals, mainly women, and the cultural and social changes in post-liberalization India that are revealed by their narratives about their work and personal experiences…. the monograph is a must-read for scholars of contemporary south Asia, globalization, and the sociology of work, class, and gender.” 

  • Appropriately Indian is a wonderful book, which provides crucial background about India’s rising image in the world and at home. Smitha Radhakrishnan covers notions of caste, class, and prestige, as well as the transnational character of the privileged knowledge workers she discusses. At the same time, does not portray these professionals only in terms of privilege. Her intimate descriptions of people’s lives are full of dilemmas and heartaches. The passages on traditional marriage expectations and modern individualistic drives are particularly illuminating.” — A. Aneesh, author of, Virtual Migration: The Programming of Globalization

    “With her soberly critical ethnographic eye, Smitha Radhakrishnan proves a delightfully judicious guide to what happens when class and culture get transnationally stretched. Refusing both the hype that surrounds the world of India’s global IT class and a simple ideology critique, she gives us a vivid portrait of everyday lives lived at a leading edge of globalization.” — William T. S. Mazzarella, University of Chicago

  • Permission to Photocopy (coursepacks)

    If you are requesting permission to photocopy material for classroom use, please contact the Copyright Clearance Center at copyright.com;

    If the Copyright Clearance Center cannot grant permission, you may request permission from our Copyrights & Permissions Manager (use Contact Information listed below).

    Permission to Reprint

    If you are requesting permission to reprint DUP material (journal or book selection) in another book or in any other format, contact our Copyrights & Permissions Manager (use Contact Information listed below).

    Images/Art

    Many images/art used in material copyrighted by Duke University Press are controlled, not by the Press, but by the owner of the image. Please check the credit line adjacent to the illustration, as well as the front and back matter of the book for a list of credits. You must obtain permission directly from the owner of the image. Occasionally, Duke University Press controls the rights to maps or other drawings. Please direct permission requests for these images to permissions@dukeupress.edu.
    For book covers to accompany reviews, please contact the publicity department.

    Subsidiary Rights/Foreign Translations

    If you're interested in a Duke University Press book for subsidiary rights/translations, please contact permissions@dukeupress.edu. Include the book title/author, rights sought, and estimated print run.

    Disability Requests

    Instructions for requesting an electronic text on behalf of a student with disabilities are available here.

    Rights & Permissions Contact Information

    Email: permissions@dukeupress.edu
    Email contact for coursepacks: asstpermissions@dukeupress.edu
    Fax: 919-688-4574
    Mail:
    Duke University Press
    Rights and Permissions
    905 W. Main Street
    Suite 18B
    Durham, NC 27701

    For all requests please include:
    1. Author's name. If book has an editor that is different from the article author, include editor's name also.
    2. Title of the journal article or book chapter and title of journal or title of book
    3. Page numbers (if excerpting, provide specifics)
    For coursepacks, please also note: The number of copies requested, the school and professor requesting
    For reprints and subsidiary rights, please also note: Your volume title, publication date, publisher, print run, page count, rights sought
  • Description

    Appropriately Indian is an ethnographic analysis of the class of information technology professionals at the symbolic helm of globalizing India. Comprising a small but prestigious segment of India’s labor force, these transnational knowledge workers dominate the country’s economic and cultural scene, as do their notions of what it means to be Indian. Drawing on the stories of Indian professionals in Mumbai, Bangalore, Silicon Valley, and South Africa, Smitha Radhakrishnan explains how these high-tech workers create a “global Indianness” by transforming the diversity of Indian cultural practices into a generic, mobile set of “Indian” norms. Female information technology professionals are particularly influential. By reconfiguring notions of respectable femininity and the “good” Indian family, they are reshaping ideas about what it means to be Indian.

    Radhakrishnan explains how this transnational class creates an Indian culture that is self-consciously distinct from Western culture, yet compatible with Western cosmopolitan lifestyles. She describes the material and symbolic privileges that accrue to India’s high-tech workers, who often claim ordinary middle-class backgrounds, but are overwhelmingly urban and upper caste. They are also distinctly apolitical and individualistic. Members of this elite class practice a decontextualized version of Hinduism, and they absorb the ideas and values that circulate through both Indian and non-Indian multinational corporations. Ultimately, though, global Indianness is rooted and configured in the gendered sphere of home and family.

    About The Author(s)

    Smitha Radhakrishnan is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Wellesley College.

Explore More
Share

Create a reading list or add to an existing list. Sign-in or register now to continue.


Contact Us

  • Duke University Press
  • 905 W. Main St. Ste 18-B
  • Durham, NC 27701
  • U.S. phone (toll-free): 888-651-0122
  • International: 1-919-688-5134
  • orders@dukeupress.edu