Studies of Indian software professionals is a growing area. When it comes to gender, there is now a number of studies of young women working in qualified jobs in the software industry. They were originally prompted by the observation that in India, in contrast to the West, many women study to get a professional degree in IT. However, they are seldom found on the higher levels of companies. Generally, research this far indicates, that while women in the West are restricted in their careers partly by the expectation that they are less technically interested and competent, causing them to get stratified to certain less technical jobs, women in India are seen as technically competent, but tend to get stratified away from their career tracks by expectations of their role in their families. In the West, and in particular in Scandinavia, it may be difficult to understand the context of the patriarchal and traditional Indian family system, which is both rapidly changing and preserving its foundations among young middle-class professionals. Being Indian and following Indian values is an important aspect of many Indians’ identity, also for those who work in international software development. The Indian values are strong even when young Indian professionals move abroad for longer or shorter periods. This paper seeks to paint a more comprehensive picture, based on what research has brought out this far, of how young Indian software professionals think and act in relation to family traditions and family expectations, concerning issues like finding a marriage partner, working mothers, travelling abroad and relating to the older generation. This research indicates that, in the Indian middle class setting, both the aim and the practices regarding the combination of work and family may need different solutions than those imported to India by global companies.
Exploring Blind Spots - 27th Conference of the Nordic Sociological Association