ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Articles By Mobina Hashmi

Outsourcing the American Dream?

The growth of the Indian IT sector is widely seen in the US as the result of the "export" of "American" jobs. Ignoring the context of changes within India, American media represent the Indian IT boom as the effect of problems within American political, economic and educational structures. This paper examines how India and Indian IT are represented in relation to America's position within the global economy. On the one hand, IT outsourcing to India is seen as a "natural" result of free market capitalism, but, on the other, it is an "unnatural" disturbance in the balance of power between the US and the rest of the world. I argue that this ambivalence can be better understood by examining how freedom, mobility and autonomy are powerfully articulated in constructions of American national identity. Indian IT workers are threatening not just because they are "taking" American jobs, but because "the American dream" seems to have migrated to India as well. The retreat into economic nationalism and calls to strengthen territorial boundaries suggest the inability - or refusal - to imagine mobility in relation to American national identity in terms other than that of unhindered movement into temporal and spatial frontiers.