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The Indian Middle Class (Oxford India Short Introductions)

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  10 ratings  ·  3 reviews
Who exactly are the middle classes in India? What role do they play in contemporary Indian politics and society, and what are their historical and cultural moorings? The authors of this volume argue that the middle class has largely been understood as an ‘income/ economic category’, but the term has a broader social and conceptual history, globally as well as in India. To ...more
Kindle Edition, 256 pages
Published June 16th 2016 by OUP India
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Feb 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
I am surrounded by people who keep telling me they are "middle class". But no one was able to give me the criteria for the same. Even rich kids around me tell me they are "middle class".

This short book helps clear some of the contradictions that exist in regards to Indian middle class. While there is no solid income bracket which defines this class, but a lot of other factors must be taken into account. With the neo-liberal reforms of 1990s, it becomes even hard to define.

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Conrad Barwa
Good comprehensive introduction to the topic. One missing element is the relationship between the middle-classes and Hindu nationalism; just as the middle-classes were the vector for modernisation of the Nehruvian state, a key component of which is secularism; the shift away from the Nehruvian model to a more market-based one in economic policy has also been accompanied by the rise of Hindu nationalist politics. The middle-classes are one of the standard-bearers of Hindutva politics.
Sachin Bijukumar
Good one with lot of new perspectives. Nevertheless focus was disproportionate on the historical dimension, could have elaborated more on the contemporary dynamics of middle class -their politics, aspirations, contradictions and how they shape India's future. Another positive aspect of the work is that many examples are quoted to substantiate the theoretical frameworks so as to make the argument more appealing.
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