Friday, November 07, 2008

Changed In Transaction

A Study Of How The Use Of The English Language In India, Especially In Cities And Among The Youth, Has Witnessed A Change In The Globalised World, With Special Reference To The Language Used At The Call Centres And The BPO Industry

The Proposal


The proposed research stems from the hypothesis that language as a human phenomenon is constantly in a flux and is constantly changing. We do not speak or write the way our grandparents used to speak and write, in whatever language it may be. The current study strongly believes that language is ever evolving, and attempts to study how that change is happening ‘right now,’ especially in the context of the so-called ‘global village’ we live in.

The focus of the language here is English, especially English used in Indian cities. At the dawn of the new century, after the concept of business process outsourcing become a household name in India, in the last 10 years or so, the use of English language in India has gone a drastic sea-change. The present study proposes to understand this change.

It has been a give-and-take situation for the people working at the call centres, where they assume a different personality, complete with a different names, and different accents. Now, an Indian, who is used to distinct type of English deal with this situation? How his acquiring of the new style of speaking (US English, complete with the mannerisms, and that too with varied accents for various US regions, for example) affect his personality and his use of the English language outside the premises of the call centre. After calling up a US client, how would he talk to his Indian friend?

The researcher is aware that the study falls more under cultural studies than language. But the research seeks to under the phenomena through the theories of the use of language, especially socio-linguistics.

The Route To The Study (The Tentative Chapterisation)

Chapter One
The Language Theories

Ferdinand de Saussure: Course in General Linguistics
Structuralism/ Post-Structuralism
Theories of Socio-linguistics: There are several; The researcher will select a few

Chapter Two
The Current Happenings

The language used at call centres: A detailed study complete with data and analysis

The linguistic background of call centre employees before joining the call centre: A detailed study complete with data and analysis

The change that occurred to the call centre employees after working at the call centre after a year or so: A detailed study complete with data and analysis

Chapter Three
The Findings

What are the changes found and in what areas: A detailed study with data and analysis (Analysis would be done using the theories studied in Chapter One)

How other factors such as economic background, educational background, sex, age, demographic background and so on affect these changes

Chapter Four

The researcher’s comment on the finding and probable prediction for the future

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