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Global "Body Shopping" by Biao Xiang

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Chapter 2

Producing “IT People” in Andhra

Just after I landed in Hyderabad in June 2001, Gopal, a young IT worker, assured me that my field research could be completed within a month as I would easily identify and round up informants: “Anyone in the street who puts his shirt inside his trousers [in the Western style] is an IT professional.” Vinnie, who had first gone to Australia as a student and was running a body-shopping business in Sydney, first heard the term “Y2K” in 1998 on a call to his mother in Hyderabad. Vinnie had to ask his mother, who had only six years of education and spoke no English, what she meant by “Y2K”! (Only after 1999 did the “Year 2000 Problem” become known in Australia by the popular American acronym.)

In the “epicenter ...

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