Sweatshop Exchanges: Gifts and Giving in the Global Factory

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This article asks what we should make of the gift exchanges that take place between workers and their managers on the floor of a massive offshore manufacturing unit in South India. Such exchanges appear anomalous in the ethnography of global manufacturing yet here they underpinned the organisation of hyper-intensive production processes. Following diverse acts of giving, it shows how these transactions constituted the performative and relational grounds on which workers came to know themselves and sought to shape the world around them. In doing so it extends the anthropology of work and labour by showing that acts of giving are integral to global commodity production.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-26
JournalResearch in Economic Anthropology
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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