Testing the Future: Gender and Technocapitalism in Start-Up India

Hemangini Gupta*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

In this article I examine how start-up capitalism recalibrates transnational ‘outsourcing’ or the work of so-called ‘cyber coolies’ to instead create labour as a site of innovation and experimental consumption. First, I draw on ethnographic fieldwork in India to theorise digital labour as a form of experimental mediation and temporal work oriented to the future. Second, I show how work is deeply embodied and centres on the racialised and gendered bodies of non-elite workers. Finally, I show how invitations to innovate with work processes encourage workers to cultivate attachments of love and care for the company that ultimately privatise affect and conceal class and labour hierarchies. Tracing employees’ experiences through a period of automation and layoffs, this article argues for an understanding of how precarious feminised work creates the conditions of possibility for postcolonial and transnational technocapitalism to flourish.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)74-88
Number of pages15
JournalFeminist Review
Issue number1
Early online date10 Dec 2019
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 10 Dec 2019

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • entrepreneurship
  • experiment
  • India
  • labour
  • outsourcing
  • transnational feminisms
  • travel industry


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