Abstract: Since the advent of export-led industrialization in Latin America, Asia and Africa in the 1980’s, driven by international financial institutions and adoption of neoliberal economic policies by hitherto ‘third world’ countries, a strong body of work has developed pointing to the limits of such policies by activists, social movements, trade unions and academics. Dispossession from means of livelihoods, mass unemployment, loss of land and other natural resources has accompanied export-led industrial projects in many of these countries. Despite such profound impacts on nature and the lives of working people, countries across Asia continue to adopt policies such as Special Economic Zones, creating unabated expectations of employment and social mobility. In this talk, I will focus on the experiences of the young women workers who came to work in one such zone that was touted as a success story of India’s zone policy but closed down within 8 years of its operation. I will explore the production of space and a sense of community that women develop through everyday social practices of care and emotional bonds in the workplace. By deploying creative methodology, my work explores the complex politics of belonging and place-making by labour under capitalism.
Geography's Colloquium - Rise and fall of a community in a sweatshop: Everyday relations of labour in a special economic zone in Tamil Nadu, India by Professor Madhumita Dutta
Friday, September 27, 2019
3:35 P.M. – 4:35 P.M.
Location: Student Building 005