ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846
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Consumer Culture and Shopping Decisions

Social Positioning of Urban Middle Class in India

Nita Mathur (nitamathur@ignou.ac.in) teaches sociology at the School of Social Sciences, Indira Gandhi National Open University, New Delhi.

Based on an empirical study, this article addresses critical concerns surrounding shopping decisions of the middle class in Delhi and the National Capital Region. Using exploratory factor analysis, four factors that influence shopping decisions are extracted, namely peer pressure, money matters, shopping site, and brand value. These factors are examined at both aggregated and disaggregated levels according to income, age, and sex. The article reflects on how shopping decisions, consumption profiles, and aspirations are negotiated in reshaping social life. It projects that far from being materialistic, hedonistic, and self-centred, the middle-class shopper is cautious, price-sensitive, and seeks value for money.

The author would like to thank Kaustuva Barik for help in statistical estimation of data and for an insightful discussion with him. Thanks are also due to an anonymous reviewer of this journal for helpful comments.

Updated On : 17th Jan, 2018

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