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Wayfinding: Indigenous Migrants in the Service Sector of Metropolitan India

Bengt G. Karlsson and Dolly Kikon
South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies, May 2017 (Open Access)

Abstract: In the last decade, large numbers of indigenous youth from the uplands of Northeast India have migrated to metropolitan cities across the country. Many end up in the new service sector, getting jobs in high-end restaurants, shopping malls and spas. The demand for their labour is due to their un-Indian ‘exotic Asian’ appearance and a reputation for being hardworking and loyal. Such labour market value is a remarkable reversal of their position considering the earlier colonial stereotypes of their savagery and disobedience, reproduced through the de-politicisation of their armed insurrections during the post-colonial period. This paper addresses their daily experiences of vulnerability and marginality as well as the freedom and aspirations that a migratory life seem to engender.

url – http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/00856401.2017.1319145
courtesy – T&F

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