This article examines state and corporate discourses that portray outsourced call center workers as bagong bayani, or “new national heroes” of the Philippines. Through a queer reading of state narratives and corporate advertisements that deploy these rhetorical devices, I argue that the new national heroes trope functions ideologically to praise, cultivate, and broker flexible Filipino labor while seeking to quell a host of moral anxieties about gender, sexuality, and globalization. I argue that the naming of outsourced laborers as new national heroes extends the logic of the labor brokerage process that, to date, has been theorized in the context of global migration. The essay charts this shift by looking at the manufacturing of idealized outsourced laborers as well as the neoliberal incorporation of queer and transgender subjects, and others on the margins of the global South, into the logics of capital. At the same time, it examines how call center work has become one site for the articulation of, and struggle over, respectable queer and transgender subjectivities.
Research Article|June 01 2016
Emmanuel David; Outsourced Heroes and Queer Incorporations: Labor Brokerage and the Politics of Inclusion in the Philippine Call Center Industry. GLQ 1 June 2016; 22 (3): 381–408. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/10642684-3479426
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