Communication Studies

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New Faculty Publication! Answer the Call: Virtual Migration in Indian Call Centers

January 17, 2014

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Answer the Call, coauthored by Communication Studies faculty member Aimee Carrillo Rowe with Sheena Malhotra and Kimberlee Perez, explores the daily, psychic journeys Indian call center agents undergo as they virtually migrate between India and the U.S. A thin cable that runs half way around the globe bridges the “here” and the “there,” connecting agents to faraway customers in real time. The new time-space relations generated by this virtual contact create conditions for these workers to undergo a global “migration” from India and to America, even as their bodies remain bounded within the national homeland. To accommodate the U.S. American workday, Indian agents often work the nightshift and sleep during the day, leaving them little time for family, friends, and cultural events. This temporal arrangement displaces them from the daily rhythms of Indian life, generating a sense of loss, longing, and nostalgia for “India.” Further, while agents experience a sense of distance from India, they also experience a movement toward “America.” Agents’ accounts suggest a feeling of living between worlds, yet their movement is decoupled from physical migration. Call center agents migrate not through space, but through time. While virtual migration has no geographically distant point of arrival, the experience of moving between India and America is not merely imagined. Something is happening to agents’ sense of place and time, and yet this something falls somewhere, as agents explain, in-between: between India and America, migrating and remaining within the homeland, diasporic subject and Indian citizen; between experience and imagination; between class mobility and consumption; between here and there, then and now, past and future, tradition and modernity. Call center agents live and work between these multiple cracks of material culture. Our detailed investigation of their stories unpacks the dense cultural lives agents live as they dwell in the potentiality of virtual migration that affords them spatio-temporal, class, and citizenship mobility. Read more

New Faculty Publication! Handbook of Autoethnography

January 17, 2014

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The Handbook of Autoethnography, coedited by Communication Studies faculty member Stacy Holman Jones with Tony E. Adams and Carolyn Ellis, was recently published by Left Coast Press. In this definitive reference volume, almost fifty leading thinkers and practitioners of autoethnographic research—from four continents and a dozen disciplines—comprehensively cover its vision, opportunities and challenges. Chapters address the theory, history, and ethics of autoethnographic practice, representational and writing issues, the personal and relational concerns of the autoethnographer, and the link between researcher and social justice. A set of 13 exemplars show the use of these principles in action. Autoethnography is one of the most popularly practiced forms of qualitative research over the past 20 years, and this volume captures all its essential elements for graduate students and practicing researchers. The book won the 2013 National Communication Association's Ethnography Division Book Award for Best Edited Collection. Read more

New Faculty Publication: DJ Culture in the Mix

October 28, 2013

DJ Culture book cover
DJ Culture in the Mix: Power, Technology, and Social Change in Electronic Dance Music, coedited by CSUN faculty member Bernardo Attias with Anna Gavanas and Hillegonda C. Rietveld, has been published by Bloomsbury Publishing.  Mixing established and upcoming researchers from the US, Canada, the UK, Germany, Austria, Sweden, Australia and Brazil, the collection offers critical insights into DJ activities in a range of global dance music contexts. In particular, chapters address digitization and performativity, as well as issues surrounding the gender dynamics and political economies of DJ cultures and practices. Read more

New Faculty Publication: Concrete and Dust

December 13, 2012

Concrete and Dust Photo

Concrete and Dust: Mapping the Sexual Terrains of Los Angeles by Dr. Jeanine Mingé and Dr. Amber Lynn Zimmerman is a collage of visual image, arts-based ethnographic and autoethnographic narratives, experimental sound, poetry, and performative writing in juxtaposition with the conflicting and complex performative nature of Hollywood, celebrity, glamour, and sexual agency. This work is a model of the ways in which traditional ethnographic research methods can collage and collide with visual, aural, and aesthetically driven texts to Read more

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