This volume examines the discursive construction of the meanings and lifestyle practices of the middle class in the rapidly transforming economies of Asia, Latin America, Africa and the Middle East, focusing on the social, political and cultural implications at local and global levels. While drawing a comparative analysis of what it means to be middle class in these different locations, the essays offer a connective understanding of the middle class phenomenon in emerging market economies and lay the groundwork for future research on emerging, transitional societies. The book addresses three key dimensions: the discursive creation of the middle class, the construction of the cultural identity through consumption practices and lifestyle choices, and the social, political and cultural consequences related to globalization and neoliberalism.
Introduction: The Global Middle Classes: Towards the Study of Emergent Citizenship Leslie L. Marsh and Hongmei Li Section I: Media and Society 1. Culturedness, Responsibility and Self-Help: Middle Class Contexts in Post-Socialist Russia Jennifer Patico 2. The Rise of Reading Campaigns in Post-NAFTA Mexico Emily Hind 3. Conflicted Images: Producing and Consuming Images of the Middle Class in China’s Media Xin Wang Section II: Economics and Consumers 4. Meanings Attached to Cruises by Emerging Consumers: A Study Using Participant Observation Ana Raquel Rocha and Angela da Rocha 5. Conjectures on Global Virtual Economies: Discretionary Consumption, Online Gaming and the Rise of the Global Middle Class Manuel (MJR) Montoya 6. An Investigation of Chinese Middle Class Attitudes Toward Sustainability Yushan Zhao and Erin Cavusgil 7. Understanding the Characteristics and Entrepreneurial Activities of Middle-Class Consumers in Emerging Markets: The Case of India Rajshekhar (Raj) Javalgi and David A. Grossman Section III: Politics and Ideology 8. Meanings of Money Among Middle Class Hindu Families in India Altaf Merchant, Gregory Rose and Mohit Gour 9. Middle Class and Higher Education in the MENA Region Mourad Dakhli and Ihsen Ketata 10. Not in My Backyard: Middle Class Protests in Contemporary China Andrew Wedeman