The emotional labor of former street children working as tour guides in Delhi

Bidragets oversatte titel: Tidligere gadebørns følelsesarbejde som turguider i Delhi

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In Delhi, India, former street children guide visiting tourists around the streets that they used to inhabit, and show how the NGO they work for try to resocialise current street children. The article analyses how the guides shape and co-perform their ‘personal stories’ with the tourists on these ‘City Walks’, and conclude that their stories simplify the causes and effects of their problems. The stories implicitly advocate simple solutions that conveniently fit the limited engagement of the visiting tourists, whose ethical position is thereby validated in relation to the NGO. The guides’ performances thereby produce a comfortable space, where the transference of emotions and capital is made uncomplicated. Interviews with the guides reveal, however, that it is also in the interest of the guides to create such a space, because it allows them the opportunity to set boundaries for their own emotional involvement, in the performance of their past suffering. The guides are thus incentivised to work within a neoliberal logic where they are situated as emotional labourers selling their stories as commodities, and these stories then crate an incentive for the tourists to act as consumers, who have little choice but to frame their declarations of solidarity with the street children as acts of consumptions.
Bidragets oversatte titelTidligere gadebørns følelsesarbejde som turguider i Delhi
TidsskriftFocaal - European Journal for Anthropology
Udgave nummer85
Sider (fra-til)97-109
StatusUdgivet - 2019

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