Computers Are Very Stupid Cooks: Reinventing Leisure as a Politics of Pleasure
This chapter argues that the home is where IT workers’ experiences on the street and in the office are assessed. It uses the variety of activities they engage in at home—eating together, gossip sessions, wide-ranging discussions that go deep into the night—to revisit scholarly understandings of the relationship between work and leisure in neoliberal economies. By and large, Indian programmers do not allow work demands to intrude on leisure time; in fact, they actively resist this. The chapter posits that leisure time is so preserved because it allows programmers to develop a politics of pleasure in the everyday (here called eros), which helps define being middle class. It argues that alternatives to the colonization of leisure by work exist even within neoliberal regimes of work. These alternatives to immaterial labor flourish in the interstices between work as organized by firms and a middle-class imaginary of a good life.
Sarkar Committee, Central Bureau of Education, India. “Development of Higher Technical Institutions in India (Interim Report of the Sarkar Committee),” 1946.