The Effects of Outsourcing on the Cultural Identity of Young Indians

On August 31st, 2011, Posted by author

Last modified: October 26, 2015

American companies outsource their poorer paid jobs to India, Philippines and other countries that have a strong English education background, to cut labor costs, increase their profit and to offer 24 hour customer services made possible by the time line differences. From the Indian point of view, earning about $4000 per year is considered

a fabulous salary for a youngster although it is only one-sixth of what an American would earn for the same job (Cooper). In the past decade, India and especially its young people, has been swamped by the new outsourcing industry bringing in westernization and a quasi-culture that has been infiltrating and slowly destroying India’s own cultural ethos. The unique cultural identity and heritage that distinguishes India from the others is slowly losing out, bowing to the western one which is rapidly globalizing the world.

The influences of these changes can be seen in different arenas like sports, movies and music, media and most importantly on the very individual identity of the “call center” employees, therefore eroding the national honor. The current generation of India is adopting the westernized culture, in its dance, music, languages, moral values, accent and fashion. More than a million youngsters are working at the call center and Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) jobs in India (The Dynamics of HRM Systems in Indian BPO Firms, P S Budhwar et al).

Call center job involves a lot of intensive training to change and westernize the accent, learn western terms and culture and even changing their very name to one that is easy on the tongue of an American. These employees have to learn a lot of patience in dealing with even the brash and loud-spoken customers and act in a pleasant and polite manner at all times. Thus the name, character and the actual Indian identity are changed, giving them a false Western identity for their work hours, which are mostly the night hours in India to coincide with the day time in the US (Organizing Call Centre Agents: Emerging Issues, Ernesto Noronha et al 2006).

But it a moot point whether the Indian culture that has withstood 5000+ years under foreign invasions and rule would now crack under this insidious western culture invasion. The young everywhere follow popular trends and fashions and go back to their traditional roots when they are older – maybe this trend too is not long-lasting or permanent.

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