Books: India’s New Middle Classes

Leela Fernandes. India’s New Middle Class: Democratic Politics in an era of economic reform, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2006

“Leela Fernandes digs into the implications of the growth of the middle class in India and uncovers—in the media, in electoral politics, and on the streets of urban neighborhoods—the complex politics of caste, religion, and gender that shape this rising population. Using rich ethnographic data, she reveals how the middle class operates as a proponent of economic democratization. ”

Book reviews:

Mark Jackson, “Leela Fernandes, India’s New Middle Class: Democratic Politics in an era of economic reform.”, Canadian Journal of Sociology Online, Sept-Oct 2007. Available here.

Murayama, Mayumi, “India’s New Middle Class: Democratic Politics in an Era of Economic Reform – by Leela Fernandes”, The Developing Economies, Vol. 47, Issue 2, June 2009


Amita Baviskar, Raka Ray (eds). Elite and Everyman: The Cultural Politics of the Indian Middle Classes, New Delhi: Routledge India, 2011

“This book examines the middle classes — who they are and what they do — and their influence in shaping contemporary cultural politics in India. Describing the historical emergence of these classes, from the colonial period to contemporary times, it shows how the middle classes have changed, with older groups shifting out and new entrants taking place, thereby transforming the character and meanings of the category. The essays in this volume observe multiple sites of social action (workplaces and homes, schools and streets, cinema and sex surveys, temples and tourist hotels) to delineate the lives of the middle classes and show how middle-class definitions and desires articulate hegemonic notions of the normal and the normative.”


See Also:

Timothy Scrase. “The “New” Middle Class in India. A Re-assessment”, 16th Biennial Conference of the Asian Studies Association of Australia in Wollongong, 26 June – 29 June 2006. Available here.

Ruchira Ganguly-Scrase, Timothy Scrase. Globalisation and the Middle Classes in India. The Social and cultural impact of neoliberal reforms. London: Routledge, 2009

Christophe Jaffrelot, Peter van der Veer (eds). Patterns of Middle Class Consumption in India and China. New Delhi: Sage Publications, 2008

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