Journal article

Kicking away the ladder: student politics and the making of an Indian middle class

Craig Jeffrey

ENVIRONMENT AND PLANNING D-SOCIETY & SPACE | SAGE PUBLICATIONS LTD | Published : 2008

Abstract

In many poorer countries, middle classes are reshaping economic and political life, and nowhere is this process more evident than in postcolonial India. This paper uses ethnographic research on student politicians from rich farming backgrounds to reflect on class 'in the making'. Building on a critical reading of the work of Bourdieu, I document the ability of young men from rich farming families in western Uttar Pradesh to entrench their middle-class standing in the space of university politics. I pay particular attention to the local-level political networks through which upwardly mobile young men from rural middle-caste backgrounds seek to express, legitimate, and secure their power. The ..

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