ASLANY Maryam - CESSMA - Centre d’études en sciences sociales sur les mondes africains, américains et asiatiques


Thèmes de recherche

• Rural middle classes ; class formations ; theories of class
• Political economy of rural India ; informal labour ; political behaviour of the middle classes
• Rural transformations ; patterns of consumption in rural India ; rural poverty and human development
• Human-environment interaction in rural areas and perceptions of climate change
• Econometrics, research methods

Recherches actuelles

My on-going research project (2017-2018), which is a short-term collaborative research funded by University of the Sunshine Coast, Australia, is an interdisciplinary project that examines the interdependent relationship between village communities in Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and the environment, in Vabea village in Fiji. The research will lead to a comparative study, drawing on findings from Fiji with similar field research conducted in villages in western Maharashtra, India. I also have a developing research project on economic liberalisation and the formation of the rural middle classes in northern Tamil Nadu, for which I am currently seeking funding.

Parcours de recherche

I started my academic career as a physicist but then moved to social sciences. I recently completed my doctorate in Economic Sociology at King’s India Institute, King’s College London (2018), under supervision of Barbara Harriss-White and Christophe Jaffrelot. My doctoral research, ‘The Rural Middle Classes in India’, examined the formation of the rural middle classes in the period following economic liberalisation. The doctoral thesis was based on 18 months of fieldwork in two villages in Pune district in western Maharashtra. I developed a theoretical approach to study the rural middle classes, engaging with three major classical theorists of social stratification and class – Marx (theorising the ownership of the means of production), Weber (access to social capital) and Bourdieu (cultural capital). Prior to my doctorate, I graduated from University of Oxford (2013) where I completed a master of science in Contemporary India.



Aslany, M. (forthcoming, 2019/20) The Making of the Rural Middle Class in India, Cambridge : Cambridge University Press

Peer-reviewed journal articles

Aslany, M. (2019) ‘The Indian Middle Class, Its Size, and Its Urban-Rural Variation’, Contemporary South Asia
DOI : 10.1080/09584935.2019.1581727

Aslany, M. and Toppo, R. (2014) ‘Sino-Indian Boarder Dispute : the impossible settlement, and need for a new framework’, MARG, Science, Technology and Security Forum


Aslany, M. & Brincat, S. (in review) ‘Class and Political Economy of Climate Change Adaptation in Rural India’, Global Environmental Change (submitted February 2019)

Aslany, M. (2020, forthcoming) ‘Review Symposium [on Aslany, M. (2019/20) The Making of the Rural Middle Classes in India] – Reply’, in Global Discourse, Volume 11

In preparation

Aslany, M. (in preparation) ‘Research Methods for Studying the Rural Middle Classes’, to be submitted to International Journal of Social Research Methodology

Aslany, M. (in preparation) ‘Human Interactions with Nature : from theory to practice’, to be submitted to Social Theory (based on a grant application from University of the Sunshine Coast, Australia)

Brincat, S. and Aslany, M. (in preparation) ‘Village Societies and Their Lived Experience with Nature : A case study of Vabea Village in Fiji’, to be submitted to Global Environmental Change (based on successful grant application from University of the Sunshine Coast, Australia)

Book Reviews

Review (with Harriss-White, B.) of The Political Ecology of Climate Change Adaptation : Livelihoods, agrarian change and the conflicts of development, by Marcus Taylor, London : Routledge (2015), Journal of Agrarian Change (March 2019), doi : 10.1111/joac.12308