The Middle Class in World Society. Negotiations, Diversities and Lived Experiences

The Middle Class in World Society Negotiations, Diversities and Lived Experiences

By Christian Suter, S. Madheswaran, B.P. Vani
Copyright Year 2020
ISBN 9781138609501
Published July 1, 2020, by Routledge
400 Pages 54 B/W Illustrations


This volume delves into the study of the world’s emerging middle class. With essays on Europe, the United States, Africa, Latin America, and Asia, the book studies recent trends and developments in middle class evolution at the global, regional, national, and local levels. It reconsiders the conceptualization of the middle class, with a focus on the diversity of middle class formation in different regions and zones of world society. It also explores middle class lifestyles and everyday experiences, including experiences of social mobility, feelings of insecurity and anxiety, and even middle class engagement with social activism.

Drawing on extensive fieldwork and in-depth interviews, the book provides a sophisticated analysis of this new and rapidly expanding socioeconomic group and puts forth some provocative ideas for intellectual and policy debates. It will be of importance to students and researchers of sociology, economics, development studies, political studies, Latin American studies, and Asian Studies.


1. Introduction

Part 1. Growth and Decline of the Middle Class: Global, Regional and Local Dynamics
2. A Global Middle Class Is More Promise than Reality
3. European Middle Class under Threat: Trends and Root Causes
4. Diversity of Capitalisms and the Growth of the Middle Classes in Asia and Latin America
5. The Poverty of the ‘Middle Classing’ of Development: Key Problems in Southern Africa
6. Marriage, Household Composition, Class Status by Nativity for Women of Color: 1980-2014
7. Urban Decline, Public Sector Contraction and the Experiences of Middle-Income African Americans: Using Detroit as a Case Study for Future Research

Part 2. Locating the Middle Class
8. The Simplified Assumptions of the Global Middle Class Narrative Glocal Middle-Income Groups in Kenya
9. Theorizing Subaltern Middle Classes
10. An Absent Asset-Based Black American Middle Class: The Iterative Role of Hard Work, Education, and Intergenerational Poverty
11. Understanding the Burgeoning Indian Middle Class through its Expenditure and Asset-Ownership Patterns
12. What has happened to the Middle Class? Incomes and Perceived Social Position Dynamics in Different Countries

Part 3: Lived Middle Class Experience
13. Framing India's New Middle Class Politics of Lifestyle in the Globalisation Era
14. Exploring the ‘Lived’ Middle Class: Everyday Experiences, Anxieties, and Adjustments
15. Insecurity and Anxiety of the Chinese Middle Class
16. Understanding Middle Class’s Engagement with Social Activism: An Enquiry into Emerging Trends and Challenges
17. Social Benefits of Reservation: Mapping Social Mobility and the ‘Paying Back’ Tendency among the Middle Class
18. Social Mobility and Class in Africa

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