This book suggests that the primary effects of globalization in India have followed from economic changes rather than new media, creating a small transnational middle class, transforming the lives of people in this class. Focusing on the middle classes in India, the book suggests how globalization has transformed culture, class, and gender in India in the years since economic liberalization. The book argues that with globalization, class identities must be defined more by transnational contexts than within bounded nations; they are based on shared patterns of consumption more than shared positions in the economy; and are increasingly defined by gender relations.

Making the Transnational Middle Class in India

Making the transnational middle class in India

Fast, air-conditioned trains that now connect urban centers in India appeal to affluent Indians because of their speed and comfort, and because they enable the affluent to avoid non-élite crowds that pack the Indian railways. In the spring of 2001, two college-going women on a fast train connecting Dehra Dun and New Delhi openly flirted in English with a young college-going man. All three wore jeans and Western-style shirts; not one Hindi word passed between them in a half-hour of banter. They passed copies of Cosmopolitan and Time magazines back and forth to each other.

After asking the young man about his education and family, one young woman asked the man if he ...

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