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Lives on the LineHow the Philippines became the World's Call Center Capital$
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Jeffrey J. Sallaz

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190630652

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190630652.001.0001

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The Relativity of Work

The Relativity of Work

Chapter:
(p.188) 10 The Relativity of Work
Source:
Lives on the Line
Author(s):

Jeffrey J. Sallaz

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190630652.003.0010

The case of the call center industry in the Philippines illustrates the relativity of work. Jobs, the author argue, should be evaluated not in relation to some universal standard, but in relation the larger horizon of options and possibilities available to workers. According to this relativistic approach, call center jobs in the Philippines are less digital assembly lines than veritable lifelines. To project the future of these jobs is a difficult task. Automation could render them obsolete. Workers could turn their literal voices into political voice via unionization. This concluding chapter emphasizes how tenuous are the bonds connecting firms and workers, given the fluid nature of contemporary capitalism.

Keywords:   voice, union, automation, job, Philippines

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