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Manual Labours : The Complaining Body, Reading Group 1

February 24, 2015, 6:00 pm

Manual Labours will be hosting a new series of reading groups starting Thursday the 24th of February 2015 from 6 to 8pm at The Showroom, London. The first in this new programme will be led by Sweta Rajan-Rankin a lecturer in Social Policy at Brunel University, London.

The reading groups inform current research and working with UK complaints teams expanding explorations into the implications of work dependent on emotional and affective labour, where the body is neglected, often left at the door as sedentary, computer based working commences.

In line with this enquiry the reading group will be led by Sweta Rajan-Rankin drawing on her research into work-life conflicts in Indian call centres.  Sweta Ranjan-Rankin has selected two texts: Kiran Mirchandani, Gender Eclipsed? Racial Hierarchies in Transnational Call Center Work, 2010, and Arlie Hochschild, Emotion Work, Feeling Rules and Social Strucutre, 1979. Click here to download the readings.

For more details and to join the reading session please book a place by emailing: [email protected]

Sweta Rajan-Rankin is a lecturer in Social Policy at Brunel University, London.  She is primarily interested in transnational corporations, globalisation, worker identity and work-life integration in developing countries. Her DPhil thesis from Oxford University titled "The balancing act? Work-life conflict and balance in Indian call centres" explored the shifting work-life experiences of globally outsourced call centre workers. Emotional labour, humour as a tool for resistance, gendering of organisations and unpacking paternalistic practices inform much of her research. Viewing both 'culture' and 'gender' as post-structuralist spaces where identity is being constantly reshaped and redefined, she is interested in the ways in which 'westernized' work practices are localized in developing countries.

The event is part of the second stage of the practice based research project Manual Labours initiated by Sophie Hope and Jenny Richards exploring physical and emotional relationships to work, and focuses our artistic activity in exploring the complaining body through a series of workshops with complaints teams across different sectors within the UK. These workshops will inform three new commissions by visual artist Sarah Browne, choreographer Hamish MacPherson and writer Ivor Southwood and a programme of Film Clubs, Reading Groups, exhibitions and published texts developed in partnership with The Showroom, London; In Certain Places, Preston and Movement and Division of Labour, Worcester.

Manual Labours is supported by Arts Council England's Grants for the Arts and Birkbeck University Widening Access.

To keep up to date or contribute to the project please email [email protected] or for more information click here.