The middle class in Africa: Comparative perspectives and lived experiences

By CLAIRE MERCER, DEBORAH JAMES and CHARLOTTE LEMANSKI

Event type: Conference
Date: 7-9- September 2016
Place: University of Cambridge (UK)
Convernors: Claire Mercer (LSE), Deborah James (LSE), Charlotte Lemanski (Cambridge)

Paradoxically, while in Europe and America the old middle class is declining, in the Global South its newer incarnation is on the rise. Interest in the ‘African middle classes’ as an identity-based group has exploded in recent years, becoming the contemporary buzz-topic for scholarly and public agendas. Continue reading “The middle class in Africa: Comparative perspectives and lived experiences”

Moving on up: Symbolic boundary creation and upward mobility amongst middle and professional classes in the global South

Thematic Session at the Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association

Place: Montréal, Canada

Date: August 12-15, 2017

Session Organizers: Swethaa S. Ballakrishnen (NYU Abu Dhabi), Jules Naudet (Centre de Sciences Humaines, New Delhi)

Over the last three decades, global inequality has become increasingly characterized by within-country rather than between-country income inequality (Firebaugh 2003). And while there is contestation over the role globalization plays in this process (Giddens 1999), the diffusion of neoliberalism has undoubtedly shaped the way in which mobility is experienced and symbolic boundaries are traced across the world. This panel seeks to critically examine the contemporary reconfiguration of this stratification amongst upper-middle, middle and professional classes in global South sites where these processes are particularly rampant. It comprises papers that decode the ways in which established social structures and traditional hierarchies in these countries are being renegotiated through social, cultural and economic processes. Continue reading “Moving on up: Symbolic boundary creation and upward mobility amongst middle and professional classes in the global South”

The middle class in Africa: comparative perspectives and lived experiences

Event type: 4 panels at the ASAUK biennial conference
Date: 7-9 September 2016.
Place:  University of Cambridge
Convernors: Charlotte Lemanski (Cambridge) Deborah James (LSE) Claire Mercer (LSE)

 

Continue reading “The middle class in Africa: comparative perspectives and lived experiences”

The new middle class in the global South

Event type: 2-day workshop
Date: 21 and 22 September 2015
Place: Wiser, Wits University (South Africa)
Convernors: Maxim Bolt (Wits), Deborah James (LSE), Sarah Nuttall (Wits), George St. Clare (LSE)

Continue reading “The new middle class in the global South”

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”