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Life Support


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Table of Contents


Introduction. Life Support: India's Production of Vital Energy
1. Limits of Labor: Affect and the Biological in Transnational Surrogacy and Service Work
2. Call Center Agents: Commodified Affect and the Biocapital of Care
3. Information Technology Professionals: Innovation and Uncertain Futures
4. Transnational Gestational Surrogacy: Expectation and Exchange
Epilogue: Imperial Pasts and Mortgaged Futures

About the Author

Kalindi Vora is assistant professor of ethnic studies at the University of California, San Diego.


"Life Support is an ethnographic study of the biopolitics of vital energy from the perspective of Indian call centers and surrogacy hospitals. Kalindi Vora argues that affective and reproductive labors produce more than economic value by helping to form new life and socialities. This book enlivens feminist theories on the ethics of female empathy and exchange in the outsourcing of care."-Aihwa Ong, coeditor of Asian Biotech and Worlding Cities

"The reader of this slim volume is likely to be astonished in that Vora's book genuinely makes good on its title, delivering an original, dense, and entirely coherent theorization of biocapital."-Antipode

"[A]n engaging read."-CHOICE

"Vora's analysis in terms of 'vital energy' is given particularly force because of her choice to set labor of a very literally embodied sort-the biological labor of pregnancy, 'commissioned' by intending parents from far away and compensated by a flat fee-alongside capital flows that are easier to mistake as simply financial and immaterial. Her comparison returns us sharply to the biological substance or embodied materiality of all labor."-Somatosphere

"An engaging and provocative read that makes a significant contribution to current debates on globalization and labor."-Pacific Affairs

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