May 2009 Conference Schedule

Politics of the Emerging Middle Class in Developing Countries
Friday and Saturday, May 22-23, 2009
219 Aaron Burr Hall

The purpose of the workshop is to stimulate cross-disciplinary thinking and discussion on the political implications of the rapid expansion of the middle-class in developing countries. What is different about this social formation from its counterpart in the earlier industrializers? Is this middle class defined mainly by consumption rather than as an autonomous social and political force? What are the different forms of political engagement of this middle class? How are the expansion of global media and the rise of global consumption patterns affecting the political attitudes of this middle class?

Conference Organizers
Devesh Kapur (University of Pennsylvania/PIIRS Visiting Fellow)
Gay Seidman (University of Wisconsin-Madison/PIIRS Visiting Fellow)

Atul Kohli (Princeton University)
Eva Bellin (Hunter College/CUNY)
Deborah Davis (Yale University)
Diane Davis (MIT)

Grzegorz Ekiert (Harvard University)

Noha El Mikawy (UN Development Program/Yale University Visiting Fellow)
Patrick Heller (Brown University)
Yoshiko Margaret Herrera (University of Wisconsin-Madison)
Amany Jamal(Princeton University)
Devesh Kapur (University of Pennsylvania/PIIRS Visiting Fellow)
Raka Ray (University of California-Berkeley)
Landy Sanchez (Colegio de Mexico, Mexico City)
Gay Seidman (University of Wisconsin-Madison/PIIRS Visiting Fellow)


May 22, 2009
9:15–9:30 Welcome Remarks: Atul Kohli, Gay Seidman

9:30–10:45 Panel I
The Making of the Middle Class

Chair: Atul Kohli

Yoi Herrera, "Class as a Social Identity in Russia: Comparing Measurement of Class, Gender and Ethnicity"
Devesh Kapur, “Higher Education, the Professions, and the Middle Class”

11:00–12:45 Panel II
Spatial Boundaries of the Middle Class

Chair: Patrick Heller

Diane Davis, “The Socio-Spatial Reconfiguration of Middle Classes in the Rapidly Urbanizing Global South: Some General Remarks”
Landy Sanchez, “TheMiddle Class and Residential Segregation in Urban Mexico”


2:00–3:45 Panel III
Cognitive Characteristics of the Emerging Middle Class
Chair: Yoi Herrera

Raka Ray, “Cultural Understandings of the New Indian Middle Class”
Gay Seidman, “Insecurities and Tensions of South Africa’s New, Multiracial Middle Class”

4:00–5:45 Panel IV
The Middle Class in Postsocialist Countries.
Chair: Devesh Kapur

Deborah Davis, “Politics of the Emerging Middle Classes in Developing Countries: The Case of Urban Professionals and Managers in Postsocialist China”
Grzegorz Ekiert, “The Role and Transformation of the Middle Class in the Process of Transition in Eastern Europe”


May 23, 2009

9:00–11:00 Panel V
The Middle Class and Politics: The New Anti-Politics Machine
Chair: Gay Seidman

Eva Bellin, “The Dog that Didn't Bark:  Globalization and the Political Complacence of the Middle Class in the Middle East and North Africa”
Noha El-Mikawy, “The Middle Class as a Forgotten Agent of Social Transformation: Revisiting the Middle Class in Egypt”
Patrick Heller, “Entrenching Dominance: The Economic, Social and Cultural Practices of the Middle Class in the Neoliberal Era”

11:00–12:00 Building on the Workshop: General Discussions

PIIRSA PIIRS Interdisciplinary Research Initiative
Aaron Burr Hall