This volume explores the emergence, evolution and definition of the middle class in India. As a class created as the interpreters between the colonial rulers and the millions whom they governed in the pre-Independence era, the Indian middle class has existed in congruence with the state, occupying vital positions in state administration. Since Independence, this middle class underwent major sociological change as they live independent of the state, which affected their social, economic and political position, reaping benefits of liberalisation and globalisation through education and employment.
An otherwise internally differentiated and heterogeneous group, the new Indian middle class often unifies itself to shape socio-political discourse that affects politics and policymaking, from domestic to international affairs. This volume analyses this class phenomenon through a close study of a new metropolitan middle class in India – the software professionals, emblematic of the 'new India’. It discusses this emerging class as a political category and their engagements with the state, democracy, political parties, issues of gender, basic necessities and social justice. Further, it discusses their social action and ‘middle class activism’ for issues such as environment, cleanliness and corruption, particularly highlighting its presence in the private sector and electronic media.
A fresh perspective on India’s political milieu, this volume will be of interest to scholars and researchers of sociology, modern Indian history, political science, economics and South Asia studies.
Table of Contents
Introduction 1. The Class ‘in-between’ 2. Economic Reforms and the New Middle Class 3. Profiling ‘Software Professionals’ 4. Reading the Class Politically 5. New Middle Class Activism. Conclusion: The Making of Consumer Citizen. Bibliography.
Anshu Srivastava is an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science, Indraprastha College for Women, University of Delhi, India. Within the broad area of interest in politics of development and labour in India, she has several national and international publications. In past few years, her research engagement has been with the politics of the ‘new middle class’ in contemporary India focusing on software professionals.