Normative violence in domestic service: a study of exploitation, status, and grievability

Rohit Varman, Per Skålén, Russell W. Belk, Himadri Roy Chaudhuri

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    2 Citations (Scopus)
    139 Downloads (Pure)

    Abstract

    This paper contributes to business ethics by focusing on consumption that is characterized by normative violence. By drawing on the work of Judith Butler this study of kajer lok—a female subaltern group of Indian domestic service providers—and their higher status clients shows how codes of status-based consumption shaped by markets, class, caste, and patriarchy create a social order that reduces kajer lok to “ungreivable” lives. Our study contributes to business ethics by focusing on exploitation and coercion in consumption rather than in production and of woman rather than of men. It adds to consumer research by revealing how social distinctions not only manifest in status contests in which symbolic power is at stake but also may produce violent exploitation and ungrievable lives.
    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages21
    JournalJournal of Business Ethics
    Early online date28 Jan 2020
    DOIs
    Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 28 Jan 2020

    Keywords

    • Consumer ethics
    • Exploitation
    • Judith Butler
    • Normative violence
    • Status consumption
    • Grievability

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