Outsourcing is a term used to describe the practice of hiring foreign labor force. A country that hires employees from other countries based on skills and experience is said to be practicing outsourcing. Outsourcing is beneficial in most cases but there are other incidences where it may cause negative effects. Bad working conditions involves bad working environment.
This include poor leadership, lack of democracy, dictatorship, poor remunerations, no respect for workers rights and lack of both social and ethical considerations at the work place. Bad working conditions leads to poor living standards and low esteem (Mattingly, 2006).
The article (news story) talks about the increasing level of unemployment and the working poor. According to the article, the rising level of unemployment in India is due increasing level of hiring foreign workers. The country believes that these foreign workers have got appropriate skills to improvise, innovate and implement projects that will contribute to growth in economy.
On the other hand, the local skilled and unskilled workers have been left unemployed. Those employed are facing challenges of poor working conditions since special consideration is given to the outsourced labor force. It is this conditions that have led to emergence of a group of workers known as the working poor and high levels of unemployment.
The working poor are facing harsh working conditions. Some are being treated like slaves with no opportunities to advance their skills. The local workers are languishing in poverty and poor living conditions. They are struggling to earn a living despite being dedicated workers (Graham, 2005). This connects to the social concept of discrimination in terms of employment and working conditions in the following ways.
There is social discrimination in terms of employment where by the country prefers to employ workers from other countries other than their own. There is also further discrimination where by the foreign workers are provided with good working conditions unlike the local workers (Singh, 2005). Therefore, I argue that outsourcing and bad working conditions contribute to rise in unemployment and negative social-cultural effects.
The purpose of this paper is to sociologically argue out the above thesis statement and give illustrations that will support it. This is by arguing out on how outsourcing leads to unemployment and the negative social-cultural effects that are associated with it.
According to the news story, the decision by the government of India to hire foreign labor to set up various call centers in the country led to rise in the level of unemployment especially among the local Indians who posses adequate skills to perform the such duties. This work could have been done by the local Indians instead of being given to foreign employees. This is a demonstration of high level of social discrimination in terms of employment.
It leads to local people loosing opportunities to foreign people. There is racial discrimination where by the country decides to employ other races other than its own race. Besides this, there is also social discrimination in terms of working conditions. The hired workers are being given special treatment and considerations unlike the local workers. The local employees remain poor despite their hard work.
Sociologically, there was hatred among the workers where by the local workers developed a negative attitude towards the foreign workers at the call centers. The social correlation among these groups of workers became poor and efficiency of work declined. The local workers felt that the foreign workers were being given special considerations and priority. All this led to poor social interaction and communication among the workers (Graham, 2005).
Considering social-cultural effects, “outsourcing led to serious negative impacts in Indian cultural and social life. This involved language, identity, gender and emergence of western kind of lifestyle” (Graham, 2005, p. 11). Language issues brought problems like poor communication as well as low understanding between the local and hired employees.
This led to social divisions among the employees. In most cases, foreign employees tend to introduce their culture in the receiving countries. This leads to conflicts of culture due to resistance from the local people to adopt the new cultures. In India, there were recorded incidences of sexual harassment and adoption of the western culture in many call centers that were set up by the foreign employees.
“Multiple Personality Disorder and other psychiatric problems arose. Many call center workers changed in terms of western culture, accent, language and identity. The local workers were observed to copy the behaviors of the foreign workers” (Graham, 2005, p. 19). This is a social crisis that contradicts with the local social expectations of the country.
Once this happens, there is a high possibility of abuse of culture as well as race. The receiving country may be rendered culturally rootless due to the influence posed by the hired foreign workers. These workers influence large populations of the youths to adopt their social culture (Remesh, 2004).
Cultural alienation is another challenge brought about by outsourcing. Most of the workers are alienated from the rest of the population. This brings divisions in the family and other social classes.
Adoption of behaviors like smoking, working at night, pub culture and other western modes of lifestyle totally contradicts with the value systems of the local societies. The traditions and other beliefs which are highly nurtured by the local societies are being erased and this brings a lot of social friction between the foreign employees and local people.
In struggle to protect their own social cultural beliefs and practices, there is emergence of social disorder among the foreign workers and the local workers. These conflicts extend to the society as a whole. These were the problems faced by India when the government invested in the outsourcing industry to develop various call centers (Graham, 2005).
To solve the above problems, the government should reduce the practice of outsourcing and consider the local skilled workers. There should be no social discrimination among the workers even if they are from different countries. All the workers should be subjected to similar good working conditions. Proper rules and strategies should be put in place to avoid conflicts of culture when outsourcing is practiced. All this will enhance good social relations and interactions among the workers.
Graham, V. (2005). Labor Outsourcing, working poor and Unemployment in the Indian Information and Communication Technology Industry. Thesis submitted to Jawaharlal Nehru University, 1(2), 3-24.
Mattingly, D. (2006). Indian Call Centers: The Outsourcing of Good Jobs. Centre for Global Justice Conference Papers, 2(6), 46-59.
Remesh, B. (2004). Labor in Business Process Outsourcing: A Case Study of Call Centre Agents. Economic and Political Weekly, 40(7), 68-81.
Singh, P. (2005). World Unemployment and the working poor. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.