Jonathan Donner, Nimmi Rangaswamy, Molly Wright Steenson, and Carolyn Wei
This chapter evaluates the mobile phone’s dual position as change agent and reflection of existing tensions in Indian middle class families. It also offers a snapshot of the aspirational consumption that is characteristic of the new middle class in India. Three case studies are reported here relating to mobiles and family financial decisions, romantic relationships, and domestic space. The studies show that, whereas elements of autonomy and individuation do arise from mobile phone use, the adoption of mobiles as a family process better reflects its diffusion in middle-class India. This culturally specific spread of mobiles symbolizes broader socioeconomic phenomena in India.
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