I met a guy on a plane who worked for a consulting firm who mentioned that radiology is the latest field to be outsourced to India (also known as offshoring). He also said that wages in India are raising 50% a year, so the advantage to US companies to outsource won’t last forever. While radiologists in the US can make $350K, radiologists in India make about $25K (and, of course, they’re super bad ass, because getting into a good college in India, let alone medical school, is almost insanely competitive). This huge income disparity will even out, he said. He seemed to think this would be good for everyone involved, which I’m ambivalent about. While I fully support raising wages in other countries, I also strongly believe that service-sector jobs need to be kept in the United States, especially those which traditionally come with benefits and job security (which are, of course, the ones that MNCs are the most enthusiastic about outsourcing).
There’s a lot of excellent work out there on the Indian offshoring industry, specifically with regard to call centers and the way that Indian workers are encouraged to mimetically reproduce US customs and speech acts. See Deborah Cameron’s fantastic paper “Styling the Worker: Gender and the Commodification of Language in the Globalized Service Economy for one example.