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Satisficing and structured individuation: A study of women workers in Calcutta's IT sector


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  • Dutta, Mousumi
  • Husain, Zakir


It was initially believed that the rapid growth of the Information Technology (IT) industry in India would generate less exploitative avenues of employment for women. Further, economic empowerment would strengthen the bargaining power of women within the household and improve her self-esteem. However, recent studies argue that the IT sector has been unable to isolate itself from the social context, so that the organizational process continues to be shaped by the conflicting and asymmetrical gender relationships that prevail in Indian society. This leads to the imposition of a dual burden (of work and home commitments) on working women. Based on a survey of women workers in Calcutta’s IT sector, this paper agues that contextual developments have weakened the patriarchal foundations of the family. This has allowed women workers to break out of a passive mould and attempt to carve out their individual destinies. However, organizational constraints and the family structure impose structural constraints on their agency, so that women workers have to adapt their aspirations to contextual realities. Decision-making of working women may, in this emerging situation, be conceptualized in terms of Simon’s satisficing model.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 20899.

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Date of creation: 18 Jan 2010
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:20899

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Keywords: Women’s agency; Gender; Information Technology; Calcutta; Satisficing;

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  1. Alice W Clark & T V Sekher, 2007. "Can Career-Minded Young Women Reverse Gender Discrimination?," Working Papers, Institute for Social and Economic Change, Bangalore 179, Institute for Social and Economic Change, Bangalore.
  2. Herbert Simon & Lindsay McSweeney, 2010. "A Behavioral Model of Rational Choice," CPI Journal, Competition Policy International, Competition Policy International, vol. 6.
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