Technological Intimacy: Re-Engaging with Gender and Technology in the Global Factory

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This article reflects on the place of technology in the ethnography of global manufacturing and puts relationships with tools and machines back into debates about the production of gender in transnational labour processes. Much ethnography of the global factory, I argue, has over-determined or underexplored worker engagements with their immediate material environment, with implications for the role of technology in the production of gendered persons and selves. This article outlines a different approach, derived from theories of technology as performance or technique, to explore the relationship between Telugu masculinity and machines on the floor of a large diamond factory in one of India’s special economic zones. In doing so it opens new dialogue between the ethnography of work and labour and the social study of technology.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)119-143
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2012


  • masculinity
  • ethnography
  • technology
  • skill
  • India


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