Workshop 3 : Labour, Informality and Precarity in India’s New Economy

Workshop 2 Schedule – TBC

9:00-9:30 Opening Speech

Introduction and Objectives of the workshop

Presentation of trainers and participants

10:45-11:00 Coffee/Tea Break
12:30-14:00 Lunch
15:30-15:45 Coffee/Tea break
9:00-9:30 Recap- Day 1
11:00-11:15 Coffee/Tea break
12:30-14:00 Lunch
15:15-15:30 Coffee/Tea break
10:15-10:30 Coffee/Tea break
12:30-14:00 Lunch
14:00-18:00 Preparation of the restitution and project by participants
9:00-11:00 Group work
11:00-11:15 Coffee break
11:15-12:30 Group work
12:30-14:00 Lunch
14:00-15:30 Group work
15:40-15:45 Coffee Break
15:45-18:00 Group work restitution of project

Discussion of the results and the workshops


Key Readings

 Informality and informalisation

 Harriss-White, B. and N. Gooptu. 2001. ‘Mapping India’s World of Unorganized Labour’. In Socialist Register 2001: Working Classes, GlobalRealities, 89–118. London: Merlin.

Bhattacharyya, R. and K. Sanyal. 2011. ‘Bypassing the Squalor: New Towns, Immaterial Labour and Exclusion in Post-colonial Urbanisation’. Economic and Political Weekly 46 (31): 41–48.

Sanyal, K. and R. Bhattacharyya. 2009. ‘Beyond the Factory: Globalisation, Informalisation of Production and the New Locations of Labour’. Economic & Political Weekly 44 (22): 35–44.

De Neve, Geert. 2019. The Sociology of Labour in India. In: Srivastava, Sanjay, Abraham, Janaki and Arif, Yasmeen (eds.) Critical Themes in Indian Sociology. Delhi: SAGE Publications.

Parry, Jonathan. 2013a. ‘Company and Contract Labour in a Central Indian Steel Plant’. Economy and Society 42 (3): 348–74.

De Neve, Geert. 2005. The Everyday Politics of Labour: Working Lives in India’s Informal Economy. New Delhi: Social Science Press and Berghahn.

Liberalisation and globalisation

Cross, Jamie. 2010. ‘Neoliberalism as Unexceptional: Economic Zones and the Everyday Precariousness of Working Life in South India’. Critique ofAnthropology 30 (4): 355–73.

De Neve, Geert and Carswell, Grace M (2014) T-Shirts and tumblers: caste, dependency and work under neo-liberalisation in South India.Contributions to Indian Sociology, 48 (1). pp. 103-131.

De Neve, Geert (2014) Fordism, flexible specialization and CSR: how Indian garment workers critique neoliberal labour regimes.Ethnography, 15 (2). pp. 184-207.

Vera-Sanso, P. 2012. ‘Gender, Poverty and Old-age Livelihoods in UrbanSouth India in an Era of Globalisation’. Oxford Development Studies 40(3): 324–40.

Li, Tania Murray. 2010. ‘To Make Live or Let Die? Rural Dispossession and the Protection of Surplus Populations’. Antipode 41 (s1): 66–93.

Indebtedness and unfreedom

Breman, Jan and I. Guerin. 2009. ‘Introduction: On Bondage—Old and New’. In India’s Unfree Workforce: Of Bondage Old and New, edited by J. Breman, I. Guerin and A. Prakash, 1–17. New Delhi: Oxford University Press.

Breman, Jan, I. Guerin and A. Prakash, eds. 2009. India’s Unfree Workforce: Of Bondage Old and New. New Delhi: Oxford University Press.

Srivastava, Ravi. 2009. ‘Conceptualising Continuity and Change in Emerging Forms of Labour Bondage in India’. In India’s Unfree Workforce:Of Bondage Old and New, edited by J. Breman, I. Guerin and A. Prakash, 129–46. New Delhi: Oxford University Press.

Carswell, G. and G. De Neve. 2013a. ‘From Field to Factory: Tracing Transformations in Bonded Labour in the Tiruppur Region, Tamil Nadu’. Economy and Society 42 (3): 430–54.

Guerin, Isabelle. 2013. ‘Bonded Labour, Agrarian Changes and Capitalism: Emerging Patterns in South India’. Journal of Agrarian Change 13 (3): 405–23.

Picherit, David. 2009. ‘“Workers, Trust Us!” Labour Middlemen and the Rise of the Lower Castes in Andhra Pradesh’. In India’s Unfree Workforce:Of Bondage Old and New, edited by J. Breman, I. Guerin and A. Prakash, 259–83. New Delhi: Oxford University Press.

Rogaly, B. and A. Rafique. 2003. ‘Struggling to Save Cash: Seasonal Migration and Vulnerability in West Bengal, India’. Development andChange 34 (4): 659–81.

 De Neve, Geert. 1999. ‘Asking for and Giving Baki: Neo-bondage, or the Interplay of Bondage and Resistance in the Tamilnadu Power-loom Industry’. Contributions to Indian Sociology 33 (1–2): 379–406.

Kapadia, Karin. 1995a. ‘The Profitability of Bonded Labour: The GemcuttingIndustry in Rural South India’. The Journal of Peasant Studies 22 (3): 446–83.

Mosse, D., S. Gupta, M. Mehta, V. Shah, J.F. Rees and KRIBP Project Team. 2002. ‘Brokered Livelihoods: Debt, Labour Migration and Development in Tribal Western India’. Journal of Development Studies 38 (5): 59–88.

Employment in India’s ‘new’ economy

Cross, Jamie. 2009. ‘From Dreams to Discontent: Educated Young Men and the Politics of Work at a Special Economic Zone in Andhra Pradesh’. Contributions to Indian Sociology 43 (3): 351–79.

Gooptu, Nandini. 2013b. ‘Introduction’. In Enterprise Culture in Neoliberal India: Studies in Youth, Class, Work and Media, edited by N. Gooptu, 1–24. London: Routledge.

Gooptu, Nandini.2009. ‘Neoliberal Subjectivity, Enterprise Culture and New Workplaces:Organised Retail and Shopping Malls in India’. Economic &Political Weekly 44 (22): 45–54.

Gooptu, Nandini. 2013a. ‘Servile Sentinels of the City: Private Security Guards, Organized Informality, and Labour in Interactive Services in Globalized India’. International Review of Social History 58 (1): 9–38.

Fuller, C.J. and H. Narasimhan. 2007. ‘Information Technology Professionals and the New-rich Middle Class in Chennai (Madras)’. Modern Asian Studies 41 (1): 121–50.

———. 2008. ‘Empowerment and Constraint: Women, Work and the Family in Chennai’s Software Industry’. In In an Outpost of the GlobalEconomy: Work and Workers in India’s Information Technology Industry, edited by C. Upadhya and A.R. Vasavi, 190–210. New Delhi: Routledge.

Upadhya, Carol. 2011. ‘Software and the “New” Middle Class in the “New India”’. In Elite and Everyman: The Cultural Politics of the Indian MiddleClasses, edited by A. Baviskar and R. Ray, 167–92. New Delhi: Routledge.

———. 2016. Reengineering India: Work, Capital and Class in an Offshore Economy. New Delhi: Oxford University Press.

Upadhya, Carol and A.R. Vasavi. 2008. ‘Outposts of the Global InformationEconomy: Work and Workers in India’s Outsourcing Industry’. In In anOutpost of the Global Economy: Work and Workers in India’s InformationTechnology Industry, edited by C. Upadhya and A.R. Vasavi 9–49. New Delhi: Routledge.

Mukherjee, Sanjukta. 2008. ‘Producing the Knowledge Professional: Gendered Geographies of Alienation in India’s New High-tech Workplace’. In In an Outpost of the Global Economy: Work and Workers inIndia’s Information Technology Industry, edited by C. Upadhya and A.R. Vasavi, 50–75. New Delhi: Routledge.

Barua, P.,Haukanes, H. and Waldrop, A. 2016. Maid in India: Negotiating and Contesting the Boundaries of Domestic Work. Forum for Development Studies 43(3): 415-436. DOI: 10.1080/08039410.2016.1199444

Labour politics: class, consciousness and collective action

 Lerche, J., 2009. From ‘rural labour’to ‘classes of labour’: class fragmentation, caste and class struggle at the bottom of the Indian labour hierarchy. In The Comparative Political Economy of Development (pp. 90-111). Routledge.

RoyChowdhury, Supriya. 2003. ‘Old Classes and New Spaces: Urban Poverty, Unorganised Labour and New Unions’. Economic & PoliticalWeekly 38 (50): 5277–84.

Vijayabaskar, M., 2017. State spatial restructuring, subnational politics and emerging spaces of engagement for collective action: Labour regimes in Tamil Nadu, southern India. Environment and Planning C: Politics and Space35(1), pp.42-56.

Barua, P., and Haukanes, H. (forthcoming). Organising for Empowerment: Exploring the Impact of Unionization on Domestic Workers in India. Journal of Contemporary Asia.

Pattenden, J. 2016. Working at the margins of global production networks: local labour control regimes and rural-based labourers in South India, Third World Quarterly, 37:10, 1809-1833, DOI: 10.1080/01436597.2016.1191939

Kapadia, Karin. 1999. ‘Gender Ideologies and the Formation of Rural Industrial Classes in South India Today’. Contributions to Indian Sociology 33 (1–2): 329–52.

Carswell, G. 2016. ‘Struggles over Work Take Place at Home: Women’s Decisions, Choices and Constraints in the Tiruppur Textile Industry, India’. Geoforum77: 134–45

De Neve, G., 2008. Global garment chains, local labour activism: New challenges to trade union and NGO activism in the Tiruppur garment cluster, South India. In Hidden Hands in the Market: Ethnographies of Fair Trade, Ethical Consumption, and Corporate Social Responsibility (pp. 213-240). Emerald Group Publishing Limited.


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