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ASSISTANT PROFESSOR, SOCIOLOGY

LEHMAN COLLEGE

CITY UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK

I am a sociologist working at Lehman College, City University of New York.  Over the years, my research has focused on the intersection of labor, culture, and globalization.

My book, Dead Ringers: How Outsourcing is Changing the Way Indians Understand Themselves, has recently been published by Princeton University Press.  Some endorsements and reviews:

“Nadeem gives vignettes of life in four outsourcing companies where long hours, graveyard shifts, and stressful monitoring regimes without doubt damage workers health. These snapshots…give the “dead” in Dead Ringers — which initially refers to call-center workers dubious mimicry of Western accents — a more ominous significance as the book progresses…The brave new IT world documented in Nadeem’s interviews disturbs more than it shines.” –Andrew Robinson, Nature

“Dead Ringers is a delight to read for its literary qualities, including the complex portraits that Nadeem paints of the people whom he has interviewed. This insightful book could not be more timely…[and] provides a nuanced look at the complicated ways outsourcing is affecting the employees in India.” — May-Lee Chai, Asian Affairs

“A majority of America’s Fortune 2000 companies say that off-shoring is an integral part of their growth strategy. So what’s it like on the other side? Nadeem takes us into the back offices where Indian workers take American calls on all-night shifts under tough conditions. Yet workers also feel elevated by the pay and imagined participation in an American lifestyle which is, ironically, receding in the United States. An extremely well-informed and deep look at a crucial issue of the age.”–Arlie Hochschild, author of The Second Shift

“In this striking new work, globalization is not a slogan or abstraction: it is a living, breathing transformation of the lives of educated, middle-class young people in India who work in call centers and other back-office operations of Western corporations. With wit, irony, and literary flair, Nadeem makes vivid all the contradictions of their complicated lives. This is a window on people half a world away who, on the telephone, sound like they live next door. They do not, and the way they live has never been better portrayed.”–Michael Schudson, author of Why Democracies Need an Unlovable Press

“Dead Ringers is a brilliant exploration of the perplexing world that global outsourcing has wrought. With lucid and engaging prose, Nadeem shows how conspicuous consumption and exploitation are two sides of the same coin. This smart and witty book is essential reading for anyone concerned about the future of work and culture in a global age.”–John Skrentny, University of California, San Diego

Click here to listen to a discussion I participated in on the BBC World Service’s “The Forum” on “faking it” in the world of business.

Click here for an interview on Radio-Canada’s “Dispatches.”

Click here to listen to a discussion of the book on BBC Radio 4′s “Thinking Allowed” program (mp3).

Click here for a short excerpt of the book in Fast Company.

Click here to listen to a short interview I gave for the BBC World Service on accent neutralization in Indian call centers.

I’ve also published the following articles:

“Accent Neutralization and a Crisis of Identity in India’s Call Centres,” The Guardian, February 9, 2011.

“Macaulay’s (Cyber) Children: The Cultural Politics of Outsourcing in India,” Cultural Sociology 3(1): 103-123 (2009).

“The Uses and Abuses of Time: Globalization and Time Arbitrage in India’s Outsourcing Industries,” Global Networks 9(1): 20-40 (2009).

“The Living Wage Movement and the Economics of Morality,” Research in Social Movements, Conflicts, and Change 28: 137-167 (2008).

“Review of Freedoms and Solidarities: In Pursuit of Human Rights,Contemporary Sociology 37(4): 373-374 (2008).

I’ve also started working on an article tentatively and cumbrously titled, “The Fugue of Globalization: Notes Toward a Particularistic Theory of Cultural Change.”

I currently teach courses on urban and global sociology and be contacted at: shehzad.nadeem@lehman.cuny.edu

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