Based on ethnographic methods, this article provides a perspective on the relationship between state-led modernisation process and the emergence of a new middle class in the post-Soviet urban Azerbaijan. Furthermore, it examines the meaning and the characteristics of the Azerbaijani middle class and the way in which the new aspirations modify the everyday life. Due to natural resources, especially oil and gas, the Azerbaijani economy went through rapid growth, at least during the first decades of this century. This engendered stark changes in the country’s social landscape and social stratification. The state used a portion of the revenues from the extractive sector gained during the last two decades to invest in the modernisation of the country and to create new aspirational values for its citizens.
Azerbaijan. Modernisation. Middle class. Intelligentsia. Social stratification. Societal transformations.