Reading Group #1 Tuesday 24 February, 6-8pm

Join us for the first in a new series of Manual Labours reading groups led by Sweta Rajan-Rankin.Tuesday 24 February, 6-8pm
The Showroom, 63 Penfold Street, London NW8The reading groups inform current research and working with UK complaints teams expanding explorations into the implications of work dependent on emotional and affective labour, where the body is neglected, often left at the door as sedentary, computer based working commences.In line with this enquiry the reading group will be led by Sweta Rajan-Rankin drawing on her research into work-life conflicts in Indian call centres.  Sweta Ranjan-Rankin has selected two texts: Kiran Mirchandani, Gender Eclipsed? Racial Hierarchies in Transnational Call Center Work, 2010, and Arlie Hochschild, Emotion Work, Feeling Rules and Social Structure, 1979.

Download the texts here:
Mirchandani article

Hoschild articleFor more details and to join the reading session please book a place by emailing

Sweta Rajan-Rankin is a lecturer in Social Policy at Brunel University, London.  She is primarily interested in transnational corporations, globalization, worker identity and work-life integration in developing countries. Her DPhil thesis from Oxford University titled “The balancing act? Work-life conflict and balance in Indian call centres” explored the shifting work-life experiences of globally outsourced call centre workers. Emotional labour, humour as a tool for resistance, gendering of organizations and unpacking paternalistic practices inform much of her research. Viewing both ‘culture’ and ‘gender’ as post-structuralist spaces where identity is being constantly reshaped and redefined, she is interested in the ways in which ‘westernized’ work practices are localized in developing countries.