Despite pervasive changes brought about by the rise in export industries, relatively little is known about their broader effects. Recent literature on global production networks (GPNs) has both called for attention to be paid to labour and argued that there is a need to embed labour agency into GPNs. This paper argues that the type and extent of labour agency is not only shaped by institutional forms of organisation, but also by the livelihood choices and possibilities available to workers. Drawing on evidence from two villages in southern India which are both close to, and deeply affected by, a major textile industry cluster, the paper examines how the availability of non-agricultural work in the area has affected the livelihoods of those living in the region.
Carswell, G. Not working for export markets : work, agency and livelihoods in the Tiruppur textile region, Tamil Nadu. (2011) : 37 pp.