‘The New Middle Class and the Question of ‘Youth’ in Fast Food Eating-Out Culture’ by Dr. Anjali Bhatia

Dr. Anjali Bhatia from Lady Sriram College, University of Delhi presented his research entitled ‘The New Middle Class and the Question of ‘Youth’ in Fast Food Eating-Out Culture’ at the Sociological Research Colloquium.

When: Friday, 17th November 2017 at 3:00 p.m.

Where: Seminar Room (First Floor), Department of Sociology, University of Delhi 


The genesis of the category of the New Middle Class (NMC) can be traced to the policies of ‘economic reform’ in contemporary India. As a social correlate of liberalization policies, it gathers around itself discourses of consumerism, exclusion, politics, identity and gender. This paper is concerned with the thesis of differentiation into fractions of the NMC; it sheds light on a modality of differentiation and on the profiles of the ensuing fractions.

In the context of structures of consumption and service work ushered in by the global fast food chain McDonald’s, the mechanism of differentiation involves the segmentation of the NMC on a life-course axis into NMC-child, NMC-youth and NMC-adult. For NMC-youth, service work is a career-track parallel to education. Therefore, NMC-youth is differentiated into two fractions: service workers-consumers and consumers of service. Through this paper, I wish to explore the relationship between the two fractions of NMC-youth and ask how the category of NMC-youth bears upon inequalities of class, caste and gender? 

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