Neoliberal Subjectivity, Enterprise Culture and New Workplaces: Organised Retail and Shopping Malls in India
With a case study of young workers in organised retail in shopping malls in Kolkata, this paper aims to illuminate how emerging labour processes as well as the organisation and culture of new workplaces in India today have far-reaching consequences beyond the economy and is transforming Indian society and politics in profound ways. With the adoption of market-driven and business-friendly public policy in India, new workplaces like shopping malls are playing a decisive part in crafting suitable workers and citizens, and in reshaping individual subjectivity, consonant with the needs of the market and of neoliberal governmentality for self-governing citizens and self-driven, pliant workers. The paper shows how young workers seek personal solutions to structurally or systemically generated problems in the economy and at the workplace; emphasise the responsibility, autonomy and agency of the self-driven, enterprising individual; disavow formal party politics and political engagement; negate the significance of the state in public policy; and allow both the government and employers to abdicate any responsibility for workers' and citizens' well-being.
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