This book fills an important gap in the existing literature on economic liberalization and globalisation in India by providing much needed ethnographic data from those affected by neoliberal globalisation. Based on ethnographic fieldwork and interviews, it reveals the complexity of the globalisation process and describes and accounts for the contradictory attitudes of the lower middle classes. The authors challenge the notion of a homogeneous Indian middle class as being the undoubted beneficiaries of recent neoliberal economic reforms, showing that while the lower middle classes are generally supportive of the recent economic reforms, they remain doubtful about the long term benefits of the country's New Economic Policy and liberalisation. Significantly, this book discusses and analyzes both the economic and cultural sides to globalisation in India, providing much-needed data in relation to several dimensions including the changing costs of living; household expenditure, debt and consumerism; employment and workplace restructuring; gender relations and girls’ education; global media and satellite television; and the significance of English in a globalising India.
Globalisation and the Middle Classes in India will be of interest to scholars and students working in the fields of Sociology, Social Anthropology and Development Studies, as well as Asian Studies - in particular studies of South Asia and India - and Globalisation Studies.
About the Author
Ruchira Ganguly-Scrase is Senior Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Wollongong, Australia. She has previously authored Global Issues/ Local Contexts: The Rabi Das of West Bengal (2001) and numerous articles and book chapters on ethnographic method, gender, social change, and development.
Timothy J. Scrase is Associate Professor of Sociology and Deputy Director of the Centre for Asia Pacific Social Transformation Studies (CAPSTRANS) at the University of Wollongong, Australia. The author of numerous publications on globalization, social change and development, and inequality in India, his most recent book is medi@sia (Routledge 2006).
Table of Contents
1. Globalisation, Structural Adjustment and the Middle Classes in India 2. Victims of Consumerism? Consumption and Household Survival 3. Gender, Empowerment and Liberalisation 4. Discourses of Global Efficiency and the Dynamics of New Workplace Culture 5. Culture of Power: The Hegemony of English in a Globalising India 6. Globalised Media: Television and Its Impact on Middle Class Morals, Culture and Identity 7. Conclusion: Indian Middle Class Lives in the Era of Neoliberal Globalisation