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Aaberg, Lars (2022) 'Corporate India after Section 377: haphazardness and strategy in LGBTQ diversity and inclusion advocacy.' Gender, Place and Culture. pp. 1-18. (Forthcoming)

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It is increasingly common for advocates for LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer) workspace benefits and protections to argue for equitable treatment by utilizing the ‘business case’, or the argument that fostering a diverse and inclusive workspace promotes positive economic outcomes for multinational corporations (MNCs). Utilizing this discourse is particularly important in countries like India, where LGBTQ workers in the private sector have few to no legal protections. As such, a discourse that sutures human rights to business imperatives becomes a primary means of articulating LGBTQ precarity. In this contribution to the ‘Queer Precarities’ themed section, this article seeks to hold in tandem a critical analysis of this arguably neoliberal discourse of LGBTQ precarity with an ethnographic account of ‘following’ the business case into the diverse spacetimes in which it is performed. Drawing from ten-months of fieldwork primarily among MNCs in Bengaluru’s offshore information technologies (IT) industry beginning hours before the Indian Supreme Court read-down the colonial-era anti-sodomy law Section 377, this article describes how corporate organizations responded to the ruling and how these responses, often haphazard and experimental, provided moments for various LGBTQ diversity and inclusion (D&I) advocates to make claims on global capital. In placing criticism of queer liberalism into dialogue with geographic and anthropologic inquiries into globalizing business knowledge and practice, this article argues for moving beyond queer theoretical concerns of normativity to consider moments of maneuver available to actors otherwise unequally incorporated into the global distribution of labor.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Business knowledge, corporations, diversity and inclusion, queer, India
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > School of Law
Departments and Subunits > Interdisciplinary Studies > Centre for Gender Studies
ISSN: 0966369X
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
SWORD Depositor: JISC Publications Router
Date Deposited: 05 Dec 2022 11:04
Funders: Other

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