India's New Middle Class

India's New Middle Class

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Today Indiaa€™s middle class numbers more than 250 million people and is growing rapidly. Public reports have focused mainly on the emerging groupa€™s consumer potential, while global views of Indiaa€™s new economy range from excitement about market prospects to anxieties over outsourcing of service sector jobs. Yet the consequences of Indiaa€™s economic liberalization and the expansion of the middle class have transformed Indian culture and politics. In Indiaa€™s New Middle Class, Leela Fernandes digs into the implications of this growth and uncoversa€”in the media, in electoral politics, and on the streets of urban neighborhoodsa€”the complex politics of caste, religion, and gender that shape this rising population. Using rich ethnographic data, she reveals how the middle class represents the political construction of a social group and how it operates as a proponent of economic democratization. Delineating the tension between consumer culture and outsourcing, Fernandes also examines the roots of Indiaa€™s middle class and its employment patterns, including shifting skill sets and labor market restructuring. Through this close look at the countrya€™s recent history and reforms, Fernandes develops an original theoretical approach to the nature of politics and class formation in an era of globalization. In this sophisticated analysis of the dynamics of an economic and political group in the making, Fernandes moves beyond reductionist images of Indiaa€™s new middle class to bring to light the groupa€™s social complexity and profound influence on politics in India and beyond. Leela Fernandes is associate professor of political science at Rutgers University, New Brunswick.--Das (2000) Harsh Gahlauta#39;s three-month-old Hyundai Accent still smells new. But the 27-year-old is already ... As tens of thousands of service jobs continue to flow to India from the United States and Europe, small cities like Chandigarh offer even lower labor costs than Indiaa#39;s a€œfirst tiera€ technology hubs like Hyderabadanbsp;...

Title:India's New Middle Class
Author:Leela Fernandes
Publisher:University of Minnesota Press - 2006-11-29


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