The muddled definition of a class in between

LENA KROEKER

I do not tweet, never had an account on facebook, nor do I own a car, a microwave or a flat screen TV. Being unmarried and a mum, I live in a rented apartment (70 m2) and work on contracts which are usually shorter than one year. The highest educational achievement of the head of household…? Well, I hold a PhD, but for the sake of making my point let’s assume the household head is male and more into business than education. For sure, marketing research would not place me in the middle class because of my limited consumerism. How about you? Are you in the global middle class? Continue reading “The muddled definition of a class in between”

Why this blog? Reflections on hope and critique in a globalized world

By CHRISTOF DEJUNG

In times of political radicalization and destabilization, increasing economic inequality and attraction to authoritarian leaders across the globe, a blog on global middle classes seems to require justification. The focus on such a topic was, one could argue, either an expression of both liberal naivety and an obsession with global development according to the Western model or – worse – an indication of being attracted to a cozy fairytale according to which everyone was able to achieve an adequate standard of living if only trying hard enough. Continue reading “Why this blog? Reflections on hope and critique in a globalized world”

The global bourgeoisie: The rise of the middle classes in the age of empire

Event type: International conference
Date: 27-29 August 2015
Place: Gonville and Caius College, University of Cambridge
Convernors: Christof Dejung (Cambridge/Konstanz), David Motadel (Cambridge/Edinburgh), Jürgen Osterhammel (Konstanz)

This conference provides a new approach to the emerging research field of global social history by examining the emergence of ‘middle classes’ and ‘bourgeois cultures’ across the globe in the long nineteenth century, as well as their encounters in imperial and non-imperial contexts. It is innovative for the following two reasons: First, it argues that the nineteenth century saw the establishment of social groups all over the world that shared many characteristics with the European bourgeoisie, and could therefore be described as ‘middle classes’. Second, the conference reveals that the making of the middle classes across the globe can only be explained by considering the rising transfer of ideas and goods between the Western and non-Western worlds. Continue reading “The global bourgeoisie: The rise of the middle classes in the age of empire”