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What happens over time to Indians who spend their working hours answering phone calls from Americans--and acting like Americans themselves? To find out, the authors of Answer the Call conducted long-term interviews with forty-five agents, trainers, managers, and CEOs at call centers in Bangalore and Mumbai from 2003 to 2012. For nine or ten hours every day, workers in call centers are not quite in India or America but rather in a state of "virtual migration." Encouraged to steep themselves in American culture from afar, over time the agents come to internalize and indeed perform Americanness for Americans--and for each other.
Aimee Carrillo Rowe is associate professor of communication studies at California State University, Northridge.
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