Instructional Materials for the Social Studies and World Geography Classroom
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AIM: South Asia
Outsourcing and the Rise of India in the Global Market
AIM: South Asia is produced through South Asia Institute in the College of Liberal Arts the University of Texas at Austin
photos used under Creative Commons by Marc_Smith
Outsourcing and the Rise of India in the Global Market Instructional Materials for the Social Studies and World Geography Classroom Primary Researchers: Mathangi Krishnamurthy Center for Humanities University of Wisconsin-Madison Rachel Meyer South Asia Institute University of Texas at Austin Heather Scott McNeil High School Round Rock ISD First Edition Publication Date: October 2011 This unit contains copyrighted material, which remains the property of the individual copyright holders. Permission is granted to reproduce this unit for classroom use only. Please do not redistribute this unit without prior permission. For more information, please see: http://www.utexas.edu/cola/insts/southasia/
Table of Contents Outsourcing and the Rise of India in the Global Market
Standards Alignment Grade Level: High School Curriculum Areas: Social Studies, World Geography Time Length: 1-4 sessions (forty-five minute sessions) Goals: This lesson is meant to introduce students to the outsourcing industry and have them critically analyze its pros and cons. Material and activities help students to better understand the different perspectives and effects of outsourcing. The various articles, political cartoons and audiovisual content included in the lesson plan will also help students to understand the cultural stereotyping that has become part of popular notions of outsourcing. This curriculum unit was designed to address the following National Standards and the standards in the Texas Essential Knowledge & Skills (TEKS): National Standards: Standard 6. How culture and experience influence people’s perceptions of places and regions. Standard 11. The patterns and networks of economic interdependence on Earth’s surface. Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS): Content: • 9.10 The student understands the distribution, characteristics, and interactions of the economic systems in the world. ▶ (D) compare global trade patterns over time and examine the implications of globalization, including outsourcing and free trade zones. • 9.11 The student understands the reasons for the location of economic activities (primary, secondary, tertiary, and quaternary) in different economic systems. ▶ (B) identify factor affecting the location of different types of economic activities, including subsistence and commercial agriculture, manufacturing, and service industries; and • 9.17 The student understands the distribution, patterns, and characteristics of different cultures. ▶ (C) compare economic, political, or social opportunities in different cultures for women, ethnic and religious minorities, and other underrepresented populations Skills: • 9.21 The student applies critical thinking skills to organize and use acquired information from a variety of sources, including electronic technology. ▶ (B) analyze and evaluate the validity and utility of multiple sources of geographic information, such as primary and secondary sources, aerial photographs, and
maps; • 9.22 The student communicates in written, oral, and visual forms. ▶ (B) generate summaries, generalizations, and thesis statements supported by evidence; ▶ (C) use geographic terminology correctly • 9.23 The student uses problem-solving and decision-making skills, working independently and with others, in a variety of settings. ▶ (B) use case studies and GIS to identify contemporary challenges and to answer real-world questions Objectives: • Students will be able to explain and articulate an understanding of the concept of outsourcing as part of the global economy through a case study of India and the United States. • Students will be able to describe how culture and identity are part of global trade and business.
Overview of Outsourcing Outsourcing as a concept is a business practice meant to treat the production and delivery of a product or service as a set of modular parts that can then be sub contracted to various parts of the world. This practice has cost benefits for companies in the US and the UK, both in terms of cheaper infrastructure as well as labor costs. The phenomenon has received wide press in both India and the US. People in the US see it as responsible for loss of jobs. The Indian press uses it as an anchor for stories on the impact of globalization on society and India’s newly resurgent economy. Outsourcing in its most visible manifestation consists of call centers or customer service centers staffed by young men and women in India, answering calls through the night for customers in the US and UK. During the early years of this industry, these workers were taught American and British accents, familiarized with elements of these cultures and expected to successfully mask their physical locations. As increasing press made customers aware that they were located in India, the demands of accent reduced. However they became more susceptible to verbal abuse and complaining. Now they are required to speak “neutral” English and be familiar with American and British accents only to the extent that they are able to understand them. As a result of this new industry, youth in urban India are able to earn their own pocket money and become financially independent in their early 20s. Many claim this to be a positive force. However, the monotony of the job, its unusual hours and verbal abuse from customers makes it a stressful career. As a result, labor turnover is high and most workers do not stay in the call center for more than two years. Further, many see this newly independent urban youth as spending their money on frivolities and indulging in a consumerist lifestyle at the cost of their education and traditional cultural values. Many issues can be discussed as part of the topic of outsourcing. Some suggestions are included below: (1) What is globalization? Why is it important? (2) What kind of people around the globe do you meet everyday? (on the phone, in the news, in books?) (3) What are your views on outsourcing? (4) Would you be rude to somebody on the phone? (5) Do all the people around you speak English? (6) What is American culture?
Lesson Outlines and Activities 1. Introductory Activity: What’s in a quote? • Students respond to quotes about outsourcing from four varying perspectives and points of view. • Students create a working definition of outsourcing and build background knowledge about the concept. • Session 1 2. Family Interview • Students interview family members to explore how outsourcing is viewed by and impacts the lives of relatives. • Session 1 OR homework/warm-up 3. Two Sides of Outsourcing: View film followed by class discussion and student activity. • Recommended films: 30 Days: Outsourcing in India (45 min) From the 30 Days TV Series, in which subjects spend a month in an environment that’s antithetical to their customary way of life in this documentary series from Super Size Me director Morgan Spurlock. In this episode, Chris Jobin of Mount Vernon, NewYork - who lost his job to outsourcing in 2003 - travels to Bangalore, India, where he witnesses how the outsourcing of U.S. jobs has affected the country’s culture. The Other Side of Outsourcing (45 min) As the demand for computerized services has grown, American companies have outsourced millions of high-tech jobs to India. The negative impact on American workers has fired a heated controversy, but there’s been an impact on Indian society, too, and not everyone sees it as positive. Pulitzer prize-winning journalist Thomas L. Friedman travels to Bangalore, India to learn how a new world economy impacts an old world culture and what happens when globalization meets ancient traditions. Diverted to Delhi (55 min) In 2002 the Australian Film Commission did a news documentary about how multi-national companies go to India to set up call centers to service the United States and Australia. When unsuspecting Australians, Americans or British consumers phone to make a customer service query, their calls are often re-routed to India, and answered by Indians impersonating local telephone operators. This well-guarded secret is called outsourcing. The college graduates who work in India’s burgeoning call centre industry are forced to put aside their cultural identity, modify their accent and change their names so they can take on an international personality. They must learn how to think and speak like an American, an Englishman or an Australian — whoever’s paying the bills.
Lesson Outlines and Activities
• Note: The films are easy to use segments and clips. However, they are also excellent if time allows to be shown in their entirety. • Session 2 4. Student Activity: Document Analysis • Students will utilize reading and analysis strategies to work through the documents. • Students will participate in a class discussion of the differences between the various types of documents. • Questions teachers and students should consider: ▶ How do the documents differ in terms of the kind of information they provide? ▶ How effective would each be on its own? ▶ How do the different mediums work together to create an understanding of the topic of outsourcing? • Session 3 5. Student Activity: Cartoon Drawing • Students analyze cartoons from varying points of view about outsourcing. • Students draw cartoons about outsourcing to convey and process what they learned. • Session 4 OR homework/wrap-up Materials List: • Writing utensils (pen, pencils, colored pencils, markers) • Student Activity: What’s in a Quote? • Quotes for Gallery Walk • large sheets of paper (such as butcher paper) • Family Interview Worksheet • Student Activity: Film Viewing/Discussion and T-chart Analysis • Student Activity: Video T-Chart Analysis Worksheet • Student Activity: Reading Primary Source Documents • Primary Source Document Analysis Worksheet - versions (A) and (B) • Document Packet • Student Activity: Cartoon Drawing • Blank 8 X 11 printer/copy paper • PowerPoint of lesson plan (offers background information) Additional readings for teachers: http://www.mngt.waikato.ac.nz/ejrot/cmsconference/2003/proceedings/postcolonial/Mirc handani.pdf Thomas Friedman. The World is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century. Farrar, Straus & Giroux. 2005. Things to be careful about: 1. Outline both points of view – teachers will have to be careful about re-inforcing the political, economic and cultural significance of the phenomenon from both Indian and American points of view.
Lesson Outlines and Activities
2. Discussion of racism and xenophobia might be useful, but teachers can take a call on what students can do to understand the issue as far more than just simple hatred and dislike. 3. Language is an important component of the process. If teachers find it useful, they can talk about different forms of speech and of Americans and their, at times, inability/ ability to deal with different forms of English.
Student Activity: What’s in a Quote? • TIME NEEDED: 45 minutes • OBJECTIVE: Students will be able to analyze differing perspectives on outsourcing. Students create working definitions of outsourcing and build background knowledge about the concept. Students will plan and conduct family member interviews as homework, and report back the next day. • SUPPLIES FOR THIS ACTIVITY: ▶ markers ▶ large sheets of paper, such as butcher paper ▶ quotes ▶ Background PowerPoint (optional) ▶ notebook ▶ pen/pencil • The activity is a way for teachers to get their students to think about the global economy through understanding how outsourcing is viewed by and impacts different countries and cultures. This introductory activity provides an opportunity for students to share prior knowledge and can also be used to review key ideas when viewing the film or doing later activities. • PROCEDURE: ▶ Gallery Walk (25 minutes) ▶ Prior to class, teacher writes quotes and the recommended questions on large sheets of paper, taping/posting them around the room. ▶ Divide students into four groups. ▶ Students rotate, writing group responses to quotes/questions, every 5 minutes. ▶ Discuss student responses as a class. ▶ Question and Response (10 minutes) ▶ What is outsourcing? ▶ Where does it exist? ▶ How does it impact countries’ economies? ▶ What types of challenges does it present? ▶ Interviewing a family member ▶ Students will create an interview about outsourcing to conduct with a family member using the Family Interview Worksheet. ▶ Students interview a family member as homework, as report their findings the next day.
Student Activity: What’s in a Quote?
Quotes for Gallery Walk US Populist Viewpoint: “I must admit that “outsourcing” is a much tidier way of describing how rich guys are shipping millions of American jobs to places where they are free to destroy the environment and disregard human rights—little-known places where they can pay human beings, some of whom hardly are old enough to go to school (assuming there is a school for them to go to), pennies a day to make things will be shipped back to America and sold to the same people who once made the same things before the same rich guys “outsourced” their jobs.” (Frank LaGrotta, “’Outsourcing’ Our Lives,” The Nation, March 8, 2004.)
Call Center Worker Viewpoint: “in this industry, once you speak, you’re not speaking to your own friends only, you’re speaking to a person abroad. Their ideas are different.. so we have to adapt to their ideas, their way of thinking.. we’re in the US right now, we’re not in this place, we’re not in India, we’re in the US… so according to that we’re thinking………. even we get holidays based on them.” (Cheryl, call center worker – from interviews with call center workers included in “Cultural Mimicry and Hybridity: On the work of identity in international call centers in India” by Diya Das and Ravi Dharwadkar, Martin J. Whitman School of Management, Syracuse NY pp. 14-15)
US Corporate Viewpoint: “It is a matter of survival for these firms, especially those in the information technology sector where the company’s highest costs can be payroll…it would be virtually impossible to start a new It or software company in Silicon Valley without offshore outsourcing” ( John A Challenger, CEO of global outplacement firm quoted in USA Today, “Why Small Business Must Hire Offshore,” vol. 133, December 2004, p. 16)
Concerned Indian Citizen Viewpoint: “Also, see, there’s no creativity. You just have a headphone, there’s no creativity. And youth at this stage are the most creative-feeling. I have a strong feeling if this goes on for a long time, sitting with earphone, night, without sleep and other tings, it’s going to affect their minds in the long run. So, psychologically, emotionally, the whole thing of no creativity is something which I am very sad about. The youth are the best, their creative minds should be channelized.” (Father of call center worker, form “Working the Night Shift: Women in India’s Call Center Indusry, by Reena Patel, Stanford University press, 2010)
Student Activity: Family Interview
Family Interview Worksheet Directions: 1. Select a family member to interview. 2. Create four questions that you would like to as your selected family member about outsourcing. 3. Interview the family member, recording their answers below each question asked. 4. Note: Questions 3 & 4 are on the reverse side. Interview Questions: Question 1:
Student Activity: Family Interview
Student Activity: Film Viewing/Discussion and T-Chart Analysis • TIME NEEDED: 60 minutes • OBJECTIVE: Students will be able to identify and explain different perspectives on the issue of Outsourcing, including its positive and negative impacts. They should understand that the industry has positive benefits as well as negative outcomes, with in the US; and positive benefits and negative outcomes in India as well. • SUPPLIES FOR THIS ACTIVITY: ▶ film about outsourcing ▶ T-chart template • PURPOSE: The activity is a way for teachers to get their students to think about the global economy through understanding the impact that outsourcing has on countries, in particular the US and India. It encourages students to think about both the positive benefits and the negative consequences of outsourcing on both sides. • PROCEDURE: ▶ Students watch documentary on outsourcing. ▶ Students will take notes about the positives and negatives of outsourcing in a Tchart. ▶ Students will participate in a short class discussion about the documentary and outsourcing’s role in India and the global economy.
Student Activity: Film Viewing/Discussion and T-Chart Analysis
Video T-Chart Analysis Worksheet Directions: As you watch the movie, fill in the T-chart analyzing the positive benefits and the negative consequences of outsourcing. After the film, write a summary about what you’ve learned.
Summary (2-3 sentences):
Student Activity: Reading Primary Source Documents • TIME NEEDED: 45 minutes • OBJECTIVE: Students will be able to analyze primary source documents related to the impact of outsourcing to evaluate the strengths and the limitations of different kinds primary source materials and to evaluate the different perspectives provided by different sources. Students will be able to use primary source documents for identifying geographic issues and inferring geographic relationships. • SUPPLIES FOR THIS ACTIVITY: ▶ Copies of document packets for students ▶ Copies of the Primary Source Document Analysis Worksheet ▶ Writing utensils (pen or pencil) • PROCEDURE: ▶ Students will read and analyze the documents in the document packet. ▶ Students will record their analysis of the document on the Primary Source Document Analysis Worksheet. ▶ Students will participate in a class discussion about the documents, facilitated by the teacher. • ALTERNATIVE ACTIVITY SUGGESTIONS/NOTES: ▶ Worksheet A is a worksheet better aligned with the needs of an on-level course. ▶ Worksheet B is a worksheet better aligned with the needs of an advanced course. ▶ This activity may also be done as a group rotations activity.
Documents What kind of document is this?
When and by whom was the document written or created?
What is the document about?
Why was the document created (think purpose)?
1. As you read the documents, fill in the below chart for each document. 2. Documents 1-4 are on the front, and Documents 5-10 are on the back of this worksheet. 3. A class discussion will be held once the chart is filled in completely.
Is there any bias or point of vienw in the document? if so, explain.
4. As you read the documents, fill in the below chart for each document’s SOAPST analysis. 5. Documents 1-4 are on the front, and Documents 5-10 are on the back of this worksheet. 6. A class discussion will be held once the chart is filled in completely.
TAKEN FROM: U.S. Department of Labor and Forrester Research, Inc. All numbers are rounded. Document 2: Excerpts from “Offshoring of White-Collar Jobs Is Shifting the Global Balance of Power” by Ashutosh Sheshabalaya, Rising Elephant: The Growing Clash with India over White-Collar Jobs and Its Meaning for America and the World. Monroe, ME: Common Courage Press, 2005. The relocation of white-collar technology jobs out of the West is a powerful undercurrent in today’s globalizing world economy. One study by American consulting firm Forrester Research estimates that such a process could send 3.3 million American jobs overseas by 2015…A leading American business journal Fortune comments that, unlike other wannabes across the world, Bangalore’s claim of being a new Silicon Valley had “an eerie ring of truth.” More now than a ring; a Business Week cover story at the end of 2003 stated that Bangalore had surpassed Silicon Valley in high-tech employment; it also reported that Indians were taking the lead in “colonizing cyberspace”…Writing in October 2003, a columnist in the Washington Times takes [the] concern further: “If you want to see a real weapon of mass destruction, try a $1,000 computer in Bombay. High-tech jobs in the computer industry are bailing out of the United States. Fast.” Document 3: Excerpts from “Socio-behavior & Cultural Impact of Outsourcing on Indian Youth” by M. S. Balaji & Diganta C, ICFAI Institute for Management Teachers, Hyderabad. Adapting to the American way of living has become a reality for many working in an Indian call center …[The] process of Americanization includes training for three to six months, learning the accent, slang, lingo, sports, history, geography, films and politics. Some companies provide
speech therapy so workers can sound like an American. The employees watch endless episodes of Friends, Seinfeld, Oprah…[Companies] even compel workers to wear American clothing. This process of Americanization has resulted in number problems for call center employees… Many are finding it difficult to find a common ground between the two cultures and identities - Indian and American…The remaking of Hari into Harry for the convenience of the American customers involves severe personality costs, as the person’s name is vital to his or her identity, self-esteem and dignity. On the social side, the most significant impact of call centers has been on the families of the employees. First, it is creating an entirely new segment of Indian youth who are being slowly alienated from the Indian culture and values. Also, it offers an opportunity for the employees to live a perpetual nocturnal life. They have little time to spare for their family members. They no longer get involved in the family get-togethers or marriages or festivals. These new working patterns…are in complete contrast to the Indian traditions and value systems …beginning to render them culturally rootless. Document 4: Excerpts from “‘Outsourcing’ Is Good for America,” by Douglas A. Irwin in The Wall Street Journal, January 28, 2004 Outsourcing service-sector jobs will allow companies to become more specialized while at the same time improving their efficiency and productivity. As a result, U.S. consumers will be offered services at a lower cost and companies will benefit from the extra income generated abroad. … First, consumers will be provided with the services…at lower prices. As many businesses themselves purchase services, their lower costs will result in savings that can be passed on to consumers. If a capable radiologist in India can read x-ray pictures at a quarter of the cost of doing so domestically, important health-care services can be delivered at lower cost to everyone, putting a brake on exploding medical costs. Second, U.S. exporters of goods and services will benefit from the extra income generated abroad. …The dollars being spent by firms to purchase these services will come back to the U.S. either in the form of demand for U.S. goods (our exports to India) or foreign investment in the U.S. Document 5: Excerpt from USA Today, “Why Small Business Must Hire Offshore,” vol. 133, December 2004, p. 16. As the costs of starting and operating a company in the United States have increased, it has become difficult for small companies to compete in the global marketplace. As a means of survival, many small companies have looked to outsourcing as a way to cut costs and increase efficiency in their businesses. Outsourcing provides small firms with an excellent way to save money and become more profitable. The efficiency enabled by outsourcing also makes these companies more attractive to investors, thus helping them grow even more. As highly educated workers in
India command much lower salaries than do U.S. workers, outsourcing has become an attractive alternative for small companies looking to get ahead. The benefits to American companies from outsourcing can be huge, but for many small companies outsourcing is simply a matter of survival. Document 6: Excerpts from “Speaking Freely -The flip side of outsourcing to India” by Raindrop P Kar in Asia Times Online, 13 October 2005. While offshoring has been good for India in the short-term, the long-term negatives will outweigh the positives…it is giving urban Indians unrealistic expectations and distorted goals. The middle-class in India…now believe that as the jobs move to Asia, they will be able to enjoy the consumption-heavy living standards of middle-class Westerners - two cars; a big, single-family, centrally air-conditioned home; all the electronic gizmos that their hearts desire; and so on.... But there are some huge obstacles in the way - namely population size, population density, energy constraints and environmental limits. We have to recognize that living standards are not merely a function of national income levels. They are bound by the limited natural resources available within a nation’s borders. …The bottom line is that money earned from offshoring cannot significantly raise the living conditions of the average Indian, but it definitely raises expectations. The yawning lifestyle gap between the small, techno-savvy class and the rest, simply creates resentment and frustration, not progress. …the lure of foreign investment and the great offshore services boom have them focused on products and competencies that serve wealthy, consumerist Western markets. After struggling to gain political independence after 150 years of colonial rule, India is “willingly” surrendering its economic independence to the agendas of Western corporate shareholders. Document 7: Excerpt from Associated Press, June 2005 India controls 44 percent of the global offshore outsourcing market for software and back-office services, with revenues of US$17.2 billion (euro14.07 billion) in the year ended March 2005... Document 8: Excerpt from “The Indian Perspective on the Offshore Outsourcing Scene: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly,” by K.V.K.K. Prasad. July, 2007. ubiquity.acm.org/article.cfm?id=1295280 For a developing country like India, the IT industry has done wonders at least for a small percentage of the population. The outsourcing of IT services from developed countries, particularly the U.S., is making a tremendous impact on the economic, social and psychological aspects of a young generation of boys and girls. And, this is the best of times and also the worst of times… Almost 25 years ago, when the IT ‘revolution’ was yet to start in India, the fresh graduates had very few job options – only in government organizations and public sector organizations. Thanks for the IT outsourcing industry, today’s opportunities for the fresh engineers are extraordinary. And, every graduate, irrespective of his/her major, is opting for a career in IT. That is no surprise, when an engineer with 2 years experience gets more salary than the Professors who taught him.
In many other countries, while the reasons for lesser enrollment of girls in computer science are being probed, in India that is THE field of choice for majority of the girls. A visit to any computer science classroom shows that almost 50% of the students are girls. It is a welcome trend; the parents of girls are encouraging their daughters to take up computer science stream as the jobs are “soft.”
Student Activity: Cartoon Drawing • TIME NEEDED: 30 minutes • OBJECTIVE: Students will be able to analyze and create their own editorial cartoons that reflect either the Indian or the American perspective on outsourcing in the global economy. Students will also be able to summarize and explain the significance of their cartoon with a written summary. This is a processing piece to assist students in communicating what they learned in the lesson. • SUPPLIES FOR THIS ACTIVITY: ▶ Blank paper (8 ½ X 11) ▶ Editorial cartoons on the topic of outsourcing ▶ Copies of the Cartoon Analysis worksheet ▶ Writing utensils (pen or pencil) • PROCEDURE: ▶ Find a few editorial cartoons on the topic of outsourcing -- many are available on the Internet by doing a simple search on the words “outsourcing cartoon.” ▶ Create a PowerPoint presentation with a few editorial cartoons and use it with the Cartoon Analysis Worksheet as a guide for a class discussion, or assign students a cartoon to analyze as homework. ▶ Students will draw an editorial cartoon about the role and/or impact of outsourcing from either an Indian or American perspective. ▶ Students will create a summary, consisting of 2-3 sentences, explaining how their cartoon reflects the role of outsourcing in the global economy.
Student Activity: Cartoon Drawing
Cartoon Analysis Worksheet
Directions: Study the cartoon for two minutes to form an overall impression, and then examine individual items. On a separate sheet of paper, draw one line down the center of the page and another across the middle. Write “Visuals” at the top of the first column and “Words” at the top of the second. Write your answers to the questions in Step One and Step Two in the four boxes. Write your answers to the questions in Step Three at the bottom of this worksheet.
VISUALS STEP ONE: OBSERVATION 1. List the objects or people you see in the cartoon. 2. Describe any action that takes place in the cartoon.
WORDS 1. Identify the cartoon caption and/or title. 2. Locate three words or phrases used by the cartoonist to identify objects or people within the cartoon (Not all cartoons include words) 3. Record any important dates or numbers that appear in the cartoon.
STEP TWO: INFERENCE 1. Which of the objects on your list might be symbols?
1. Which Words or phrases in the cartoon appear to be the most significant? Why do you think so?
2. What do you think each of the symbols means?
2. List adjectives that describe the emotions portrayed in the cartoon.
STEP THREE: SYNTHESIS A. In your words, explain how the words in the cartoon explain or clarify the symbols.
B. In your own words, explain the message of the cartoon.
C. What groups would agree/disagree with the cartoon’s message? Why?
D. What questions does the cartoon raise in your mind? Where might you find answers?
Outsourcing and the Rise of India in the Global Market - UT College of ...
Instructional Materials for the Social Studies and World Geography Classroom
photo used under Creative Commons by Impact Tarmac
AIM: South Asia
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