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Interrogating India's ModernityDemocracy, Identity, and Citizenship$
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Surinder Jodhka

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780198092070

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198092070.001.0001

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Does the Middle Class Have Boundaries?

Does the Middle Class Have Boundaries?

(p.79) 3 Does the Middle Class Have Boundaries?
Interrogating India's Modernity

André Béteille

Oxford University Press

The significance of the middle class in Indian social life has grown since the early 1990s, partly because of its demographic expansion. It has also become internally more diverse. However, despite growing differentiation and social diversity, entry into the middle class remains restrictive. For large sections of the Indian population it still remains difficult to find a foothold in this class. Those who find relatively easy entry into the ranks of the salaried middle class, mainly through the expansion of education, are the offspring of skilled manual workers in the organized sector, and also the offspring of relatively well-to-do peasants and farmers. Beyond them are the vast masses of agricultural labourers, sharecroppers, and labourers in the unorganized sector for whom offspring entry into even the lower ranks of the middle class still remains a distant prospect.

Keywords:   middle class, social life, Marxist, jobs, class polarization, entry of offspring

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