This book examines the middle classes — who they are and what they do — and their influence in shaping contemporary cultural politics in India. Describing the historical emergence of these classes, from the colonial period to contemporary times, it shows how the middle classes have changed, with older groups shifting out and new entrants taking place, thereby transforming the character and meanings of the category. The essays in this volume observe multiple sites of social action (workplaces and homes, schools and streets, cinema and sex surveys, temples and tourist hotels) to delineate the lives of the middle classes and show how middle-class definitions and desires articulate hegemonic notions of the normal and the normative.
Amita Baviskar is Professor of Sociology at the Institute of Economic Growth, Delhi.
Raka Ray is Professor of Sociology and South and Southeast Asia Studies, and Chair of the Department of Sociology at the University of California, Berkeley.