"We are Living in a Different Time Zone" Transnational Working Places and the Concept of a "Glocalized Intermediary Class"
Keywords:Transnationalism, Social Stratification, Middle Class, Habitus, Postcolonialism
The article would like to make a proposition on how to amend the underdifferentiated way social stratification within the “global society” is usually theoretized. In the dominant discourse there seems to be only one global class, the “winners of globalization”. Critics of this narrative, which I call the cosmopolitan delusion, make the “losers” of neoliberal globalization visible. But the “vulnerable” (Robert Castel) and precarious are usually not included in such a dualistic two-classapproach. If the middle class(es) within societies of the Global South again are mentioned, this is usually done in simplifi ed way. I would like to introduce the concept of a “glocalized intermediary class” (GIC) to better capture the social location of transnational class positions in between societies of the Global North and the Global South. The GICs can be considered to be part of the (service or white collar) proletariat of the North but at the same time to be part of the middle class in the society of their origin (in this case: the Philippines). If the middle class(es) can be understood as a “contradictory class location” (Goldthorpe), this is even intensifi ed for GICs working and living in between the worlds and the class positions. The exploratory theory of a “glocalized intermediary class” is exemplifi ed by the agents working at international call centers in the Philippines. They are working at transnational working places and can be considered sociocultural migrants.
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