Burnout: An Ethnographic Study of Occupational Stress among Mid-Career IT Professionals in Hyderabad, India

Bhupathiraju, Ramachandra Raju and Khandekar, Aalok (2019) Burnout: An Ethnographic Study of Occupational Stress among Mid-Career IT Professionals in Hyderabad, India. Masters thesis, Indian institute of technology Hyderabad.

[img] Text

Download (1MB)


This dissertation focuses on the production of burnout among mid-career IT professionals in the city of Hyderabad, India. My analysis is oriented by two main questions: What is said to produce to burnout among IT workers? Why do IT workers continue to work under conditions that they experience as being extremely stressful? Drawing on in-depth ethnographic interviews with IT workers in Hyderabad, participant observation, and analysis of primary and secondary literature, I argue that burnout among IT workers is produced at the intersection of significant political-economic and cultural shifts. These include, for example, the altered nature of work in the new economy, the blurring between personal and professional space/time, and the cultural privileging of IT-based employment that effectively locks individuals into IT work with seemingly no other options. Employment in the Information Technology (IT) industry has come to symbolize the promise of securing middle-class status and associated livelihoods in post-liberalization India. As a significant body of scholarship demonstrates, this promise has resulted in deep cultural, educational, institutional, and political-economic reorientations in order to facilitate the growth of the IT industry in India. These reorientations, however, have also produced an experience of high stress -- often referred to as burnout in popular discourse -- among some IT professionals. While the making of the new Indian middle class in relation to IT-based work has been investigated at length in scholarly literature, the associated production of occupational stress, i.e. burnout, has received scant attention. My research aims to address this gap. Overall, it contributes to furthering empirical and theoretical understandings of IT-based work in India under contemporary conditions of globalisation.

[error in script]
IITH Creators:
IITH CreatorsORCiD
Khandekar, AalokUNSPECIFIED
Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Burnout, IT worker, Occupational stress, Engineers, Engineering education, Labour, Law, Globalisation, Neoliberalism, Space-time compression, Middleclass, India, Hyderabad, Consumerism, Ethnography
Subjects: Arts > Liberal arts
Divisions: Department of Liberal Arts
Depositing User: Team Library
Date Deposited: 03 Jul 2019 05:37
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2021 08:59
URI: http://raiith.iith.ac.in/id/eprint/5609
Publisher URL:
Related URLs:

    Actions (login required)

    View Item View Item
    Statistics for RAIITH ePrint 5609 Statistics for this ePrint Item