Deals with the patterns of consumption among the middle classes of India and China. This book compares cultural shifts as a result of liberalization and globalization in these two Asian powers. It also covers transnational developments, like tourism, karaoke, soap operas, and the art market.
Patterns of Middle Class Consumption in India and China explores the complex history and sociology of the middle class from a comparative perspective. It has papers written by sociologists, anthropologists and political scientists rather than economists, so the emphasis is on cultural shifts rather than economic statistics.The major contribution of this volume is that these two emerging powers of Asia are not, as is usual, compared to the West, but with each other. Considering that these two societies have so much in common in scale, civilization history and as emerging economies, the book is timely. The focus of the book is on the social and political implications of the new consumption patterns among the middle classes of India and China in the context of economic growth, liberalization of markets and globalization. Reflecting upon and critically engaging with the traditional sociological notions on which definitions of the middle class have been based, the book analyzes the intermingling of these notions with new attitudes in the wake of the consumer revolution.
More specifically, an entire gamut of aspects of the consumer culture have been explored-tourism, leisure activities and the entertainment industry (art, Karaoke and soap operas)—as well as the consumption of experiences through these. It is argued that these phenomena have particular Indian and Chinese incarnations, which need to be analyzed in a manner that does not privilege a limited western experience of globalization. With its fresh insights and perspectives, the book will appeal to students of anthropology, sociology, political science, media studies and cultural studies. It will also be useful for market research professionals.
is Director CERI (Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches Internationales) at Sciences Po (Paris) and Research Director at the CNRS (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique). He teaches South Asian politics to doctoral students at Sciences Po. He has written extensively on political and regional issues of South Asia, particularly India and Pakistan. His most recent publications include India's Silent Revolution: The Rise of Low Castes in North India (2002) and Dr Ambedkar and Untouchability: Analysing and Fighting Caste (2004). His current research interests include theories of nationalism and democracy; the rise of lower castes and untouchables in north Indian politics; and ethnic conflicts in Pakistan. Peter van der Veer is University Professor at Utrecht University, The Netherlands. He is also Chairman of the International Institute for Asian Studies and member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. His research area is religion and nationalism in Asia and Europe and in 2001 he received the Hendrik Muller Award for his contribution to social science research on religion. His major works include God on Earth (1988), Religious Nationalism (1994) and Imperial Encounters (2001).