June, 2019
Surinder S. Jodhka, Jules Naudet

Mapping the Elite

Power, Privilege, and Inequality

Surinder S. Jodhka, Jules Naudet

India is being widely seen as an emerging economic and political power on the global scene. Despite having the largest population of chronically poor in the world today, it is home to a sizeable number of thriving rich and flourishing middle classes. They are reshaping the country’s popular image and its self-imagination. Equally important are its political dynamics. With increasing participation of erstwhile-marginalized sections in the electoral process, the social profile of India’s political elite has been changing, making way for those coming from the middle and lower strata of the traditional social order, thus broadening the social base of political power.

Mapping the Elite seeks to expand the understanding of processes of formations and transformations of the Indian elite. The contributors explore the emergent elite spaces, the new idioms of power and inequality, the diverse strategies in which symbolic boundaries of privilege are traced in everyday lives, as well as the class mobilities in an age of proclaimed meritocracy. They do so by using the sociological frames of caste, class, gender, community, and their intersections.