Ganguly-Scrase, Ruchira and Scrase, Timothy J., 2008, Hegemony, Globalisation, and Neoliberalism: The case of West Bengal, India, in R. Howson & K. M. Smith (eds.), Hegemony: Studies in Consensus and Coercion, Routledge, New York, 184-200.
The intensification of globalisation has marked the ascendancy of neoliberal paradigms in development thinking. Its impact in the Asia-Pacific region has brought about significant social and cultural change. Over the last decade, developing countries such as India have pursued policies of economic liberalisation. The unswerving faith in liberalization policies as the solution to the overall improvement of the population's standard of living underpins the state's rationale for forging ahead with the economic reforms. The middle class is said to have expanded greatly and benefited from the structural adjustment reforms to the economy and industry. Based on fieldwork among lower middle class households in the Indian state of West Bengal, this chapter examines the concrete experiences of those affected by these policies. In particular, we examine the ways in which the reforms have made inroads into the lives of people who were ardent supporters of a different way of thinking.