1st Edition

India's Middle Class
New Forms of Urban Leisure, Consumption and Prosperity

ISBN 9781138020382
Published March 25, 2014 by Routledge India
416 Pages

USD $29.95

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Book Description

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.



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.


‘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 fluid quality of writing.’Ethnos: Journal of Anthropology