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Politics of Precarity: Gendered Subjects and the Health Care Industry in Contemporary Kolkata

 
Panchali Ray (Author)
Synopsis

Politics of Precarity presents an analysis of contemporary labour politics that emerges with informalization and privatization of crucial social sectors, and in this case one of the few feminized occupations—the nursing sector. Contrary to common understanding, nursing service is not a homogenous sector, but a deeply splintered one based on historically and socially produced structural inequalities and is rigidly cleaved along the lines of ‘prestigious’ and ‘dirty’ work. The levels of classification in this sector are reflected in and constituted by material realities, such as wages, terms of employment, extent of skills, and possession of qualifications. Drawing on three years of fieldwork in hospitals and nursing homes in the city of Kolkata, the book is an ethnographic study that analyses how hierarchies at workplace intersect with social identities to produce a differentiated workforce. The book interrogates the politics of distinction and distancing that produces a feminine workforce divided by class, caste, and sexualities to examine the various contestations among ranks of workers who deploy modernity, morality, and gendered norms as strategies to secure marginal gains at the expense of others. About the Author Panchali Ray is an independent researcher based in New Delhi, India.

Contents: 1. Introduction: (Re)productive Work, Affective Labour, and Health Care Services. 2. Disciplining ‘ Seba ’: The ‘Trained’ Nurse in Colonial Bengal. 3. The Nursing Labour Market in Contemporary Kolkata. 4. The Matrix of the Family and the Market: (Hetero)normative Economies. 5. (Re)producing the ‘Other’: Spatializing (Un)touchability, Dirty Work, and Inequalities. 6. (Re)producing the ‘Other’: Stigmatized Lives, Unruly Dispositions, Sexual Transgressions. 7. Narratives of Resistance: Whither Politics?. Appendices. Bibliography. Index.

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Bibliographic information

Title Politics of Precarity: Gendered Subjects and the Health Care Industry in Contemporary Kolkata
Author Panchali Ray
Format Hardcover
Date published: 20.05.2019
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 9780199489763
length 280p.