This book analyzes the middle class in terms of attitudes and preferences as well as socio-economic features and governmental policies. It provides original contributions from internationally renowned researchers that bring fresh multidisciplinary insights.
With respect to the developing and threshold economies, it is no longer the poor who are the only focus of media attention. Today, the new middle classes are about to take centre stage, too. With their lifestyles and attitudes, the new middle classes are considered to be both the products as well as the promoters of globalization. They are a highly heterogeneousgroup in socio-economicterms as well as in habits 1 and preferences, including their societal role as consumers and citizens. The ?rst wave of scholarly and political attention can be traced back to the mid-nineties. The focal point was surprise and unease about indubitable symptoms of consumerism which, until then had been seen as a characteristic of the richest western societies. However, since the nineties, consumerism has run rampant in - velopingcountriestoo.Thishasparticularlybeennotedwithrespecttotheemerging middle classes in South East Asia. The "will to consume seemed inexhaustible, and appetites insatiable. This rage to consume [...] was both celebrated and feared by political leadersand other social/moralgatekeepers,who beganto condemnthe p- cess as 'Westernization' and even 'westoxi?cation"' (Chua 2000: xii). Ever since, the debate about the lifestyles of the new middle classes and their role in society has gained momentum.
1. Who are the New Middle Classes and Why are They Given So Much Public Attention?-
Part I. Modernities, Globalization and Consumption.- 2. Convergence and Divergence in Societal Modernization: Global Trends, Regional Variations, and Some Implications for Sustainability.- 3. Consumerist Lifestyles in the Context of Globalization - Investigating Scenarios of Homogenization, Diversification and Hybridization.- 4. Who are the Globalizers? - The Role of Education and Educational Elites.- 5. Provider Strategies and the Greening of Consumption Practices - Exploring the Role of Companies in Sustainable Consumption.- 6. From Small Objects to Cars: Consumption Expansion in East Asia.-
Part II. New Middle Classes in China, Brazil, Ecuador and Israel.- 7. Rising Capitalism, Emerging Middle-Classes and Environmental Perspectives in China: A Weberian Approach.- 8. Globalization of Lifestyle: Golfing in China.- 9. Who are the Knowledge Workers of Campinas, SP, Brazil and How Do They Live? Local Impacts of Global Trends.- 10. Sustainability of a Life Más Cómodo? Agricultural Change, Remaking Families, and the Emerging Indigenous Middle Class in the Ecuadorian Andes.- 11. New Middle Class and Environmental Lifestyle in Israel.-
Part III. New Middle Classes in India.- 12. The Political Economy of Lifestyle - Consumption, India's New Middle Class and State-led Development.- 13. 'Environmentality' in the Neoliberal City: Attitudes, Governance and Social Justice.- 14. India's 'New Middle Class' and the Globalising City: Software Professionals in Bangalore, India.- 15. The Changing Food Scenario and the Middle Classes in the Emerging Megacity of Hyderabad, India.- 16. Highly Qualified Employees in Bangalore, India - Consumerist Predators?-
Aus den Rezensionen:
"... Der Band bietet damit eine umfangreiche Übersicht über die Vielfalt dieser neuen Lebensstilisierungen, ihre Auswirkungen und die Entstehung von Umweltbewusstsein und stellt damit einen wichtigen Schritt zur Beantwortung weiterer Fragen zur Entwicklung nachhaltiger Lebensstile dar ..." (Esther Baumgärtner, in: Geographica Helvetica, 2010, Issue 4, S. 303)
Provides empirical evidence of both commonalities and differences among the new middle classes of different countries
Considers evidence of both consumerism and environmental concern
Proffers conclusions in view of modernization theory and a better understanding of what globalization means in regard to lifestyles and their impact on resource consumption