The capitalist spirit in the business elite in Gujarat

Janina Eva Maria Myrczik, Humboldt-Universität Zu Berlin, Humboldt-Universität Zu Berlin
Almost two decades after India's economic liberalization, scholars found the emergence of a new moral order. This new enterprise culture, or capitalist spirit, entailed the revival of traditional as well the formation of putatively modern values. While this enterprise culture accounted mostly to the emerging middle class in the country, similar changes were observed at the core of industrial capitalism: management styles, which remained unstudied sociologically. This thesis investigates how the
more » ... nvestigates how the capitalist spirit in the business elite in the Indian state of Gujarat emerges. The purpose of this study is to explain the emergence of asynchronicity in the capitalist spirit. Studying the business elite in a state with a stronghold in business traditions as well as a stark economic liberalization contributes to the above mentioned studies. Based on literature review I argue for the capitalist spirit as capitalist ethos, drawing on Pierre Bourdieu's habitus concept in combination with Boike Rehbein 's concept of socioculture, which explains coexisting layers in societies of different socio-historical origins. This research interest was operationalized with the documentary method, conducting qualitative interviews with the top business leaders in Gujarat. In this study, the capitalist ethos in the business elite in Gujarat emerges in three sociocultures that arose with British colonialism and industrialization (1850-1947), with the restricted economy (1947-1991), and with economic liberalization (1991). The capitalist ethos is differently interpreted in the sociocultures and therefore gains different meaning. I reconstructed the three capitalist ethoi of the Mahajan Ethos, the Nehruvian Ethos and the Neoliberal Ethos, respectively.
doi:10.18452/19500 fatcat:3pnbh4jdljhjnicb3dkmigmmse