This volume examines the discursive construction of the meanings and lifestyle practices of the middle class in the rapidly transforming economies of Asia, Latin America, Africa and the Middle East, focusing on the social, political and cultural implications at local and global levels. While drawing a comparative analysis of what it means to be middle class in these different locations, the essays offer a connective understanding of the middle class phenomenon in emerging market economies and lay the groundwork for future research on emerging, transitional societies. The book addresses three key dimensions: the discursive creation of the middle class, the construction of the cultural identity through consumption practices and lifestyle choices, and the social, political and cultural consequences related to globalization and neoliberalism.
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Dan Ariely is the James B. Duke Professor of Behavioral Economics at Duke University. He also holds an appointment at the MIT Media Lab where he is the head of the eRationality research group. He was formerly the Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Behavioral Economics at MIT Sloan School of Management.
Dan Ariely grew up in Israel after birth in New York. He served in the Israeli army and when 18 suffered third-degree burns over 70 percent of his body from an accidental magnesium flare explosion during training.
Ariely recovered and went on to graduate from Tel Aviv University and received a Ph.D. and M.A. in cognitive psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a Ph.D. in business from Duke University. His research focuses on discovering and measuring how people make decisions. He models the human decision making process and in particular the irrational decisions that we all make every day.
Ariely is the author of the book, Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions, which was published on February 19, 2008 by HarperCollins. When asked whether reading Predictably Irrational and understanding one's irrational behaviors could make a person's life worse (such as by defeating the benefits of a placebo), Ariely responded that there could be a short term cost, but that there would also likely be longterm benefits, and that reading his book would not make a person worse off.