Being a Teller in a Time of Globalization: The Everyday Lives of Five Women Bank Workers in Halifax, Nova Scotia

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Winstanley, Viola
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Mount Saint Vincent University
Neo-liberal globalization, its ideology and its economic and political policies, are changing the modern world. Multinational corporations influence global and national economic and governmental policies. The discourse of profit invades every facet of our lives, including government and health care, so that both citizens and patients become “consumers”. This thesis investigates the impact of globalization on the everyday lives of five women who are bank tellers in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Beginning with an examination of globalization, I argue that policies, such as Structural Adjustment Programs, of international financial institutions like the World Trade Organization and the International Monetary Fund, which were developed in an American context and imposed on countries in the developing world, are mimicked in Canada for the purpose of increasing profits. Deregulation both globally and in the Canadian context is supported by advances in technology, and tips the balance in favour of large corporations, while ordinary workers pay the price. Interviews with the tellers who participated in this study show that banking technologies such as automated teller machines, and bank restructuring in Canada, have brought globalization to the doorsteps of bank workers in Halifax as their work becomes not only more deskilled, routinized, intensified and controlled, but also increasingly non-standard and precarious.
Neo-liberal globalization , Female Tellers , Structural Adjustment Programs , Structural Adjustment Programs