While there are many ways for a scholar to choose a topic for research, it occasionally happens that the topic of research chooses the scholar. Usually this occurs when a setting or community which is familiar to the scholar begins to show signs of rapid change. I first began asking the questions addressed in this book at the turn of the century when my hometown, Bangalore, a quiet city in southern India, became the nerve centre of India’s burgeoning information technology (IT) industry. My friends and neighbours went to work for large multinational corporations at unprecedented salaries; international brands of soft drinks, apparel and white goods appeared on the shelves of neighbourhood stores; and people started remarking on how India had arrived on the world stage. Bangalore, the administrative capital of the peninsular state of Karnataka, affectionately nicknamed ‘pensioner’s paradise’ due to its slow pace of life, came to be known as India’s ‘Silicon Valley’.