Critical Themes in Indian Sociology brings together the writings of a number of scholars—both well established and younger, in India and in different parts of the world—on various themes that express the richness and diversity that defines sociological scholarship on India. The book reflects changes in scholarship over time and charts out new subjects and methods for the study of social life in India. Commemorating the 50 plus years since Contributions to Indian Sociology was first published, this book is a tribute to a journal that has sustained an internationally acclaimed and rigorous sociological engagement with India. Comprising a wide range of themes such as village, city, class, caste, politics, gender, sexuality, media, food and education, this book presents a concise, yet in-depth sense of a sociological view of India today.
Chapter 15: ‘The Middle Class’ and the Middle Classes
‘The Middle Class’ and the Middle Classes
If there is a shared understanding among the many scholars and commentators who have written extensively about the middle class, it is that the middle class is a notoriously elusive concept. Yet its elusiveness has not prevented scholars from trying to pin it down. While there is a long history of attempts to analyse this class, it has been investigated and celebrated with particular interest in the last two decades by international development institutions. In these years, a new middle class is seen to have emerged, particularly in the Global South, and a plethora of studies illustrates how this ‘new middle class’ is understood, produced, and ...