Training to be entrepreneurial: Examining vocational education programmes for young women in Industrial Training Institutes (ITI) in Kolkata

Maitra, S. and Maitra, S. (2021) Training to be entrepreneurial: Examining vocational education programmes for young women in Industrial Training Institutes (ITI) in Kolkata. In: Eigenmann, P., Gonon, P. and Weil, M. (eds.) Opening and Extending Vocational Education. Series: Studies in vocational and continuing education. Peter Lang: Berlin. ISBN 9783034334877

[img] Text
250782.pdf - Accepted Version


Publisher's URL:


Since the 1990s there has been a growing need to develop workers who are entrepreneurial and adept in behavioural, interpersonal and inter-functional skills to fit the changing nature of jobs in the emerging urban service labour market of Kolkata, the capital of the eastern state of West Bengal, India. Skill training, under the aegis of contemporary vocational training in state-funded Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs), is no longer restricted to imparting the hard skills necessary for accessing industrial employment. Rather, it extends to work on students’ dispositions – by stoking their aspirations for ‘middle-class’ ideals of social mobility and life-styles without the actual economic and social advantages of middle-classness. This chapter focuses predominantly on female students from socio-economically marginalised backgrounds in order to firstly highlight the rising popularity of vocational education amongst young women eager to access the urban service labour market in Kolkata. Secondly, such an emphasis foregrounds the gendered and classed norms of contemporary vocational education valued by the service industries, including flexibility, neatness and docility. By drawing on Michel Foucault’s theory of governmentality, we suggest how skill training programmes can become a mechanism for regulating and implanting in workers an entrepreneurial attitude so that they become not only economically productive, malleable and disciplined workers, but also accountable for their own lives. The premium placed on the individual initiatives of young students thereby absolves vocational educational institutions or the state of the larger structural fallout from unemployment and labour market vulnerabilities.

Item Type:Book Sections
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Maitra, Professor Srabani
Authors: Maitra, S., and Maitra, S.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Education
College of Social Sciences > School of Education > Culture, Literacies, Inclusion & Pedagogy
Publisher:Peter Lang
Copyright Holders:Copyright © Peter Lang AG 2021
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record