The middle class is a class of people in the middle of a social hierarchy. Its usage has often been vague whether defined in terms of occupation, income, education or social status. The definition by any author is often chosen for political connotations. Writers on the left favor the lower-status “working class”. Modern social theorists—and especially economists—have defined and re-defined the term “middle class” in order to serve their particular social or political ends.
The common measures of what constitutes middle class vary significantly among cultures. On the one hand, the term can be viewed primarily in terms of socioeconomic status. One of the narrowest definitions limits it to those in the middle fifth of the nation’s income ladder. A wider characterization includes everyone but the poorest 20% and the wealthiest 20%. Some theories like “Paradox of Interest”, use decile groups and wealth distribution data to determine the size and wealth share of the middle class.
One word which we all listen to in everyday life but we are so used to it that we don’t even pay attention to is the word WE. The typical middle class family since ages has lived together. All the so called chachas, tayas, buas, mamas have all lived together. Till a few years ago nobody knew the meaning of personal space in a house. You were always surrounded by your nephews, nieces, all the bhaiyas, didis asking you personal questions, following you wherever you went. Even the concept of marriage in an Indian setting has always been that of union of two families rather than two individuals coming together. Earlier TV viewing was more of an activity which the whole family used to do together, wait for the serials like buniyaad, chitrahaar to start, wait for that Friday movie when only one of the families in the village used to have the television and that person’s house would turn into a cinema theatre with the whole of village flooding that house; but nowadays that concept is changing. TV viewing has become more of an individual centric activity wherein hundreds of channels are there to cater to every individual’s choice. The whole concept of joint-ness is fast dissolving.
Economic reform has provided the Indian middle class the most needed the liberation in terms of living life to the most. There has been a constant shift in the cultural sign and symbols adapted through ages. Disappearance of girl’s pig tail, freedom of mobility through scooterette, providing the elders their own space of living, telecommunication evolution, explosion in the passenger car segment , changing clothing pattern are few of the visible patterns in society. Girl’s pony tail were a symbol of desired feminine reserved nature which has seen a change both in length and its handling. The shortening of hair gives a girl a sense of personal control displayed metaphorically. The scooty revolution has helped the female to expand her boundaries without being dependent on any family member providing her a sense of independence. Even the car owned has seen a shift towards adapting more compact cars. The recent shift from petrol to electric and LPG based cars not only signifies the change in attitude towards efficiency but also the urge to keep up technologically. Dhoni has been one the true middle class iconic figures which has altered the way Indian see a small town boy. The ‘can do’ attitude along with the lack of fear of failure and unmindfulness of hierarchy has been the reason behind success of Dhoni. Any Indian middle class can draw inspiration from him in the way towards dealing with pressure and performing without fear of failure. The increase in disposable income has led to the change in attitude towards life, attitude towards savings. The Indian middle class is not afraid to take risks in life to get a bigger return. He is in constant search of avenues of making money. An age where money has its own language, and the person in possession of money is in possession of power. It has become the source of energy which drives the entire economy, of which Indian middle class has played the most important role.
The essence of middle class can be truly experienced while travelling across country via any means be it train, bus, jugaad or be it airplane. Out of all these means Train definitely displays the middle class in true sense. Indian Railways carries millions of Indians mostly middle class people through length and breadth of this huge nation on a daily basis. A typical middle class passenger takes a train journey not just as travel but as ritual. He is worried about the co-passenger’s destination more than his own. The train coupe forms a perfect blend of many cultures and their practices. It is clearly visible during the meal time.
All i have to say that we are from middle class family and are not ashamed of it rather i am proud of it.Middle class family is that family which stands together to face all the difficulties and share there emotions at the same time.Decisions were taken unitedly.and the consequences of the difficulties also faced by the family unitedly.I have only these words that really inspires me:—-
My background is that I came from a middle class family, and I think those values stay where ever you go.