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This paper aims to show that the experience of workers on the margins of international business is akin to the funeralesque. The funeralesque is understood as the appropriation of the value generated by workers across the production networks of international business.


Drawing from the engagement with crematorium workers, the narratives of workers are articulated, describing the insecurities and injustices experienced by them. The authors draw from six-month-long qualitative engagement with seven workers in a crematorium in Ahmedabad, India.


The experience of marginal subjects provides important insights into how international business, in conjunction with states, structures inequality for marginal subjects. Precariousness, social exclusion, low wages and subjectivities of humiliation are the experiences of marginal subjects. The reproduction of marginality in globalising cities is an important element of the funeralesque through which extraction and re-distribution of value across international networks is legitimised.

Practical implications

In understanding international business as the funeralesque, the authors demystify the power relations constituted by it. The authors provide a metaphor for dethroning the legitimacy of international business and indicate that its modern practices are similar to the practices of value appropriation that occur in a funeral.


The authors develop the metaphor of the funeralesque to gain insights into the experiences of workers on the margins of international business. The authors are, thus, able to theorise the underbelly of globalising cities in a poetic, subversive way.

About the journal
JournalCritical Perspectives on International Business
PublisherEmerald Publishers
Open AccessNo