India's Middle Class: New Forms of Urban Leisure, Consumption and Prosperity, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

India's Middle Class

New Forms of Urban Leisure, Consumption and Prosperity, 1st Edition

By Christiane Brosius

Routledge India

400 pages

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This book examines the complexities of lifestyles of the upwardly mobile middle classes in India in the context of economic liberalisation in the new millennium, by analysing new social formations and aspirations, modes of consumption and ways of being in contemporary urban India.

Rich in ethnographic material, the work is based on empirical case-studies, research material, and illustrations. Offering a model of how urban cosmopolitan India might be studied and understood in a transnational and transcultural context, the book takes the reader through three panoramic landscapes: new ‘world-class’ real estate advertising, a unique religious leisure site — the Akshardham Cultural Complex, and the world of themed weddings and beauty/wellness, all responses to India’s new middle classes’ tryst with cosmopolitanism.

The work will be of particular interest to scholars and researchers in sociology, South Asian studies, media studies, anthropology and urban studies as also those interested in religion, performance and rituals, diaspora, globalisation and transnational migration.


‘Offering a wealth of data on visual, cultural and spatial practices in urban India . . . [this] is a valuable addition to works on globalisation in India.’Economic and Political Weekly

‘[A] book of extraordinary depth and range.’Biblio

‘[Brosius] takes us beyond the frequently-discussed role of electronic mass media and Bollywood and analyses quotidian encounters in urban spaces, billboards and popular performances as sites for the production of the "new India".’South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies

‘An insightful and well-written account of an under-researched topic.’International Quarterly for Asian Studies

‘[T]he book is an enriching and enjoyable ethnographic reading, especially due to the lucid and ?uid quality of writing.’Ethnos: Journal of Anthropology

About the Author

Christiane Brosius is Professor of Visual and Media Anthropology at the Cluster of Excellence ‘Asia and Europe in a Global Context: Shifting Asymmetries in Cultural Flows’, Heidelberg University.

About the Series

Cities and the Urban Imperative

This series introduces a holistic approach to studying cities, the urban experience, and its imaginations. It assesses what is distinctive of the urban phenomenon in India, as also delineates the characteristic uniqueness of particular cities as they embrace change and create ways of experiencing modernities.

Taking an interdisciplinary route, the series evaluates the many facets of urbanisation and city formation, and explores the challenges faced in relation to regional, national and global processes.

The books in this series present the changing trends in macro and micro urban processes; the nature of demographic patterns of migration and natural growth therein; spatial reorganisation and segregation in urban areas; uneven economic development of manufacturing and services in cities; unequal access to power in the context of formal citizenship; increasing everyday violence and declining organised protest; breakdown of urban family life in juxtaposition with the reconstitution of community. They will trace how new forms of socialities are replacing old forms of trust and solidarity, and how these are being institutionalised in distinct and diverse ways within South Asia.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / Urban