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On the coloniality of work: Commercial surrogacy in India

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    Rights statement: This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: limki r. On the coloniality of work: Commercial surrogacy in India. Gender Work Organ. 2018;25:327–342, which has been published in final form at: https://doi.org/10.1111/gwao.12220 This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)327-342
JournalGender, Work and Organization
Issue number4
Early online date12 Dec 2017
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2018


Relations of domination and subjugation in work manifest as class differentiation, but, more crucially, become intensified along lines of gender, sexual and racial difference. This circumstance, I suggest, is neither accidental nor incidental. It is a historical effect of colonial logic that postulates gender, sexual and racial Others as ontologically, and hence ethically, different. The articulation of difference as such legitimizes gender, sexual and racial Others as sites of domination and exploitation, and thereby naturalizes them as objects of subordination in work. This circumstance may be described through the analytic of coloniality. The aim of this paper, then, is to explicate the coloniality of work as a means to comprehend the persistence of inequality and subjugation in its global organization. Specifically, it underscores the imperative of confronting the ontological production of gender, sexual and racial difference in the creation of relations of domination and subjugation, and thus, in the institution and operation of work qua work. I demonstrate the political urgency of such engagements through a discussion of commercial surrogacy in India.

    Research areas

  • race, coloniality, ontology, commercial surrogacy

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