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.
Table of Contents
List of Abbreviations -- Glossary -- Acknowledgements -- 1. Introduction/Amita Baviskar and Raka Ray -- Who are the middle classes? Economy, politics and -- 2. The Growth and Sectoral Composition of India’s Middle Classes: Their Impact on the Politics of Economic Liberalization/E. Sridharan -- 3. Hegemony and Inequality: Theoretical Refl ections on India’s ‘New’ Middle Class/Leela Fernandes -- 4. The Spectre of Comparisons: Studying the Middle Class of Colonial India/Sanjay Joshi -- 5. From Landed Class to Middle Class: Rajput Adaptation in Rajasthan/Susanne Hoeber Rudolph and Lloyd I. Rudolph -- 6. Are Rich Rural Jats Middle-class?/Roger Jeffery, Patricia Jeffery and Craig Jeffrey -- Being and becoming middle-class: Work, domesticity and -- 7. Software and the ‘New’ Middle Class in the ‘New India’/Carol Upadhya -- 8. Gender, the IT Revolution and the Making of a Middle-class India/Smitha Radhakrishnan -- 9. The Middle-class Child: Ruminations on Failure/Nita Kumar -- 10. The Middle Classes at Home/Seemin Qayum and Raka Ray -- 11. The Sexual Character of the Indian Middle Class: Sex Surveys, Past and Present/Patricia Uberoi -- 12. Privatization, Profi t and the Public: The Consequences of Neoliberal Reforms on Working Lives/Ruchira Ganguly-Scrase and Timothy J. Scrase -- Middle-class politics, citizenship and the public -- 13. The Obscenity of Censorship: Rethinking a Middle-class Technology/William Mazzarella -- 14. Urban Spaces, Disney-divinity and the Moral Middle Classes in Delhi/Sanjay Srivastava -- 15. Cows, Cars and Cycle-rickshaws: Bourgeois Environmentalists and the Battle for Delhi’s Streets/Amita Baviskar -- Bibliography -- About the Editors -- Notes on Contributors -- Index.
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.