This article discusses violence against women in cars in India, including the recent high-profile Delhi rape case, arguing that these cases should be set in the context of economic liberalization. The dynamic between women and their drivers should be understood as a labor relationship within a mode of consumer citizenship that revalorizes Indian middle classes. I argue that the men who drive are members of a lower class with an ambivalent position in liberalized Indian economies, simultaneously excluded from protections of government and relied on to do the dangerous job of navigating roads at speed. I focus on call center drivers as an example through which to think about how such subjects figure in postliberalization Indian imaginaries—as border guards to middle-class private consumer pleasures and as call center workers with unvalorized labor. I use the cases of call center violence to illuminate the relationship between economic privatization and privacy in India today.
Moving Rape: Trafficking in the Violence of Postliberalization
Sareeta Amrute is a scholar of capitalism, technology, and the neoliberal imagination in India and Europe. She is currently assistant professor of anthropology at the University of Washington. She is completing her first book, “Encoding Race, Encoding Class: An Ethnography of Indian IT Workers in Berlin,” an examination of embodiment, labor, and pleasure in a global coding economy.
Sareeta Amrute; Moving Rape: Trafficking in the Violence of Postliberalization. Public Culture 1 May 2015; 27 (2 (76)): 331–359. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/08992363-2841892
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