The Middle Class in World Society : Negotiations, Diversities and Lived Experiences book cover
1st Edition

The Middle Class in World Society
Negotiations, Diversities and Lived Experiences

ISBN 9781138609501
Published June 15, 2020 by Routledge India
400 Pages 54 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This volume delves into the study of the world’s emerging middle class. With essays on Europe, the United States, Africa, Latin America, and Asia, the book studies recent trends and developments in middle class evolution at the global, regional, national, and local levels. It reconsiders the conceptualization of the middle class, with a focus on the diversity of middle class formation in different regions and zones of world society. It also explores middle class lifestyles and everyday experiences, including experiences of social mobility, feelings of insecurity and anxiety, and even middle class engagement with social activism.

Drawing on extensive fieldwork and in-depth interviews, the book provides a sophisticated analysis of this new and rapidly expanding socioeconomic group and puts forth some provocative ideas for intellectual and policy debates. It will be of importance to students and researchers of sociology, economics, development studies, political studies, Latin American studies, and Asian Studies.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction  Part 1. Growth and Decline of the Middle Class: Global, Regional and Local Dynamics  2. A Global Middle Class Is More Promise than Reality  3. European Middle Class under Threat: Trends and Root Causes  4. Diversity of Capitalisms and the Growth of the Middle Classes in Asia and Latin America  5. The Poverty of the ‘Middle Classing’ of Development: Key Problems in Southern Africa  6. Marriage, Household Composition, Class Status by Nativity for Women of Color: 1980-2014  7. Urban Decline, Public Sector Contraction and the Experiences of Middle-Income African Americans: Using Detroit as a Case Study for Future Research  Part 2. Locating the Middle Class  8. The Simplified Assumptions of the Global Middle Class Narrative Glocal Middle-Income Groups in Kenya  9. Theorizing Subaltern Middle Classes  10. An Absent Asset-Based Black American Middle Class: The Iterative Role of Hard Work, Education, and Intergenerational Poverty  11. Understanding the Burgeoning Indian Middle Class through its Expenditure and Asset-Ownership Patterns  12. What has happened to the Middle Class? Incomes and Perceived Social Position Dynamics in Different Countries  Part 3: Lived Middle Class Experience  13. Framing India's New Middle Class Politics of Lifestyle in the Globalisation Era  14. Exploring the ‘Lived’ Middle Class: Everyday Experiences, Anxieties, and Adjustments  15. Insecurity and Anxiety of the Chinese Middle Class  16. Understanding Middle Class’s Engagement with Social Activism: An Enquiry into Emerging Trends and Challenges  17. Social Benefits of Reservation: Mapping Social Mobility and the ‘Paying Back’ Tendency among the Middle Class  18. Social Mobility and Class in Africa


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Christian Suter is Director and Professor of Sociology at the University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland, and President of the World Society Foundation, Zurich, Switzerland. His research focuses on social and economic inequalities, as well as on well-being, quality of life, social indicators and social reporting. He has published and edited more than 30 books and special issues, as well as many articles in international social sciences journals, encyclopedias, and volumes. He is the winner of the Book Award of the American Sociological Association, Political Economy of the World-System Section (1993), and has also been awarded a Fritz Thyssen Prize for articles in social sciences journals (1998).

S. Madheswaran is Professor at the Centre for Economic studies and Policy (CESP), Institute for Social and Economic Change, Bengaluru, India. His research and teaching interests include Economics of Education, Economics of Labour, Environmental Economics, and Applied Econometrics. He has published numerous research papers in reputed international and national journals. He has completed many projects for both the Central and State Government of India, and the findings of his research work have been used for mid-course policy corrections by the Indian Government.

B. P. Vani is Head and Associate Professor at the Centre for Economic Studies and Policy (CESP), Institute for Social and Economic Change, Bengaluru, India. She is a statistician and has extensive experience handling large data sets such as National Sample Survey of India, National Family and Health Survey, and Indian Human Development Survey. She is currently working on issues related to multidimensional poverty, well-being, and Human Development indicators. She has published in both national and international journals. Her research interests include issues related to credit, poverty, and income distribution.