Consumer Citizenship
in the Era of Globalization
These chapters have highlighted youth and gender—as subjects, objects,
and identities—and globalization in India. I have focused attention on
key youth social and cultural practices—fashion, romance, politics, and
education—in a small college in a provincial town in Kerala as complex
enactments of consumer citizenship at the intersection of gender, caste,
and class. These explorations suggest that such an ethnographic focus is
a productive lens for understanding larger cultural and political trans-
formations in liberalizing India, drawing attention to the variety of ways
that young people mediate their lives across the relations between states
and markets. Highlighting everyday experiences and negotiations of
contemporary global transformations, I have also contextualized these
practices within regional and national histories, tracking the ways they
are both structured by and transformative of the legacies of colonial and
postcolonial modernities. Attention to these practices and their everyday
mediations link articulations of youth as consumers to youth as citizens,
bringing together consumer practices and discourses associated with
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