Thiruvananthapuram

Defining ‘new middle class’

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Sociologist Jeffrey C. Alexander delivers lecture on ‘Iconic objects and the new middle class’

A new middle class has emerged throughout the world, which is unique in the sense that it is marked by the individual’s capacity to consume global iconic objects, renowned sociologist Jeffrey C. Alexander of the Yale University has said.

The new concept of this class is characterised not by its participation in the production process but by its capacity to consume. In short, new capitalism is characterised by producing those ‘gods’ that satisfy such identities, Prof. Alexander said. He was presenting a paper on ‘Iconic objects and the new middle class’ at the the valedictory session of golden jubilee celebrations of Department of Sociology, University of Kerala.

Fantasy world

Today, material objects have transformed into branded items. Capitalism has been successful in creating a fantasy world from the world of necessities and other related goods. Contemporary capitalism is theoretically based on consumption habits in that sense, according to him. Global iconic objects that give a status to its owner like Apple i-pads and Samsung Galaxy sets provide a sense of inclusion to its holders, he said.

University Vice Chancellor Mahadevan Pillai presided.

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Printable version | Jan 24, 2020 8:00:45 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Thiruvananthapuram/defining-new-middle-class/article30481657.ece

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