Being middle class in India

This is a really interesting chapter by Devesh Kapur, Neelanjan Sircar, and Milan Vaishnav (an all-star cast of Indian politics scholars). An overview of the findings:
“we find that almost half of all respondents we surveyed across India identified themselves as part of the middle class. While there is substantial variation across states, which is not altogether surprising, identification is stronger in urban areas when compared to rural ones. However, middle class identification is broad-based, spanning all income groups and educational strata. While there is an almost linear correspondence between income/ education and middle class affinity, what is striking is not necessarily the difference between groups but the consistency across them. When it comes to social aspiration and economic optimism, there is a distinct middle class positivity on both counts. Statistical analyses suggest that middle class self-identification accounts for a good deal of the variation in economic optimism and social aspiration that is not attributable to either income or education”

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