Professor Gargi Bhattacharyya

Professor in Sociology

Research Professor, Sociology, Centre for Migration, Refugees and Belonging

, Royal Docks School of Business and Law

I am Professor of Sociology based in the Institute for Connected Communities.

Areas Of Interest

  • Racisms and inequality
  • Racial capitalism
  • Migration and bordering
  • Austerity
  • Sexuality
On This Page


Gargi has written widely in the fields of racism, sexuality, global cultures and the 'war on terror'.

Research interests

I have published widely in the fields of racisms, sexualities and global cultures. My recent work has focused on the repercussions of the 'War on Terror' and on the impact of austerity logics on everyday life.

I have undertaken a pilot project on conditions in the cleaning sector with Dr Lucila Granada of the Latin American Women's Resource Centre.

Between 2015 and 2017, with Professor Satnam Virdee and Dr Aaron Winter, I co-organised a series of seminars funded by the ESRC on 'Racism and Political Mobilisation'.

In 2017, with Kirsten Forkert, Federico Oliveri and Janna Graham, I completed a PaCCs funded project entitled 'Conflict, memory, displacement'. You can see work from this project at

My recent publications have centred on questions of austerity, racism and racial capitalism.

External roles

I have sat on the boards of a number of key journals in my field.

  • Member of Editorial Board for the journal, Ethnic and Racial Studies, from 1999-2009
  • Member of Editorial Board for the journal, Patterns of Prejudice until 2012
  • Member of editorial board for the journal, Feminist Media Studies

I have acted as external examiner for well-known masters programmes in my field.

  • External examiner for MA in Social and Cultural Theory, Staffordshire University, 2002 to 2005.
  • External examiner for MA in Race and Ethnic Relations, Trinity College, Dublin, from 2011

I receive regular requests to evaluate book proposals from well-known publishers such as Ashgate, Sage,  Routledge, Zed and Pluto.

Professional affiliations

  • British Academy Visiting Fellow at Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, November-December 2007
  • Associate Member of the Centre for Urban and Community Research, Goldsmiths College, University of London, 2000 to present.
  • Visiting Fellow at University of Jadavpur, Calcutta, March 2002.
  • Visiting Fellow at University of Dhaka, January 2004.

Other Relevant Activities

I have fulfilled a number of voluntary roles in local and national organisations. These responsibilities complement my research interests in 'race' and ethnicity, equalities practice, social justice and globalisation.

  • Executive member of Bangladeshi Youth Forum, Lozells, Birmingham, 1994-1999.
  • Unpaid worker with Birmingham Women's Aid, 1993 to 2000.
  • Member of Management Committee of the Asian Resource Centre, Villa Road, Handsworth, Birmingham, 1994 to present.
  • Director and Member of Management Committee of AEKTA (West Midlands Clothing Industry Action Research Project), 1995 to 2004.
  • Member of Employment Tribunals, 1999 to 2010.
  • Member and Vice-Chair of Board of Directors of Birmingham Race Action Partnership, 2001 to present
  • Member of Commission for Racial Equality working party to draft new codes of practice for education, in the light of the Race Relations Amendment Act, 2001.
  • School Governor for Lozells Junior and Infant School, from February 2002 to January 2005.
  • Member of TUC Race Relations Committee, from April 2002 to present.
  • Member of Liberty Council, from April 2004 to April 2006.
  • Parent Governor, Newtown Nursery School, from January 2009 to January 2011.


Gargi's writing and scholarly activity has focused on changing cultures of racism and the manner in which discourses of sexuality are deployed as techniques of power.

She has undertaken funded research examining: vulnerable workers and the hospitality industry; the characteristics of the 'student city'; remittance circuits; political disengagement in Birmingham; changing understandings of poverty; trade unions and the integration of migrants in Europe.

She has been involved in the research teams of 'Go Home - mapping immigration controversy' (ESRC) and 'Conflict, memory, displacement' (PaCCs).

Gargi is a member of the Centre for Migration, Refugees and Belonging.


Publications in the areas of 'race' and ethnic studies, sexuality, and globalisation.

  • Rethinking racial capitalism, questions of reproduction and survival, forthcoming with Rowman and Littlefield, 2018
  • 'Go Home' The Politics of Immigration Controversies, Hannah Jones, Yasmin Gunaratnam, Gargi Bhattacharyya, William Davies, Sukhwant Dhalwal, Kirsten Forkert, Emma Jackson, Roiyah Saltus, Manchester University Press, 2017
  • Crisis, austerity and everyday life, living in a time of diminishing expectations, Palgrave Macmillan, 2015
  • Ethnicities and Values in a Changing World, edited volume, Ashgate 2009.
  • Dangerous Brown Men: Exploiting Sex, Violence and Feminism in the Long War, Zed Press, 2008, pp170, ISBN 9781842778784
  • Traffick, the illicit movement of people and things, Pluto, 2005, pp220. ISBN 0745320473
  • Sexuality and Society, an introduction, Routledge, 2002, pp193. ISBN 0415229030
  • Race and Power, globalised racisms in the twenty-first century, with John Gabriel and Stephen Small, Routledge, 2001, pp186. ISBN 041521971X
  • Tales of Dark-Skinned Women, Race, Gender and Global Culture, UCL press, 1998, pp390.

Essays in edited collections

  • Trying to discern the impact of austerity in lived experience, chapter in Popular Culture and the Austerity Myth, Hard Times Today, edited Pete Bennett and Julian McDougall, Routledge, 2017
  • Narrative Pleasure in Homeland: The Competing Femininities of "Rogue Agents" and "Terror Wives" (2014) chapter in The Routledge Companion to Media and Gender, edited Cynthia Carter, Linda Steiner and Lisa McLaughlin, London, Routledge
  • 'Racial neoliberal Britain?' (2013), chapter in The State of Race, book edited by Virinder Kalra, Nisha Kapoor and James Rhodes, Basingstoke, Palgrave
  • 'Will these emergencies never end? Some first thoughts about the impact of economic and security crises on everyday life', chapter in book New Femininities, Postfeminism, Neoliberalism and Subjectivity, edited by Rosalind Gill and Christina Scharff, Palgrave Macmillan, 2010
  • 'Globalising racism and myths of the other in the war on terror', chapter for book Palestine as a State of Exception, edited by Ronit Lentin, Zed Press 2008
  • 'Wars on our doorstep - Islamicising 'race' and militarising everyday life', chapter in book Race and State, edited by Alana Lentin and Ronit Lentin, Cambridge Scholars Press, 2006, ISBN 1847180019
  •  'Rats with wings', chapter in London from Punk to Blair, edited by Andrew Gibson and Joe Kerr, London, Reaktion Press, 2003. pp213-220. ISBN 1861891717
  • 'Because it gives me speed - travel, freedom and revenge in Indian families', chapter in Temporalities: Autobiography in a postmodern age, Jan Campbell, Janet Harbord, Manchester, Manchester University Press, 2002, pp141-151. ISBN 071905575X
  • 'Fashion', entry in the Dictionary of Race and Ethnic Studies, edited by John Solomos and David Goldberg, Oxford, Blackwell, 2002, pp416-422. ISBN 0631206167
  • 'Resisting Deportation - campaigning tactics' with John Gabriel, chapter in book, Rethinking Anti-Racisms: From Theory to Practice edited by Floya Anthias and Cathie Lloyd, London, Routledge, 2002. pp149-165. ISBN 0415183383
  • 'Skin and Flesh', chapter in Contested Bodies, edited by Ruth Holliday, London, Routledge, 2001. pp36-47. ISBN 0415196361
  • 'Animals, Fun, Public Toilets, Sewage', entries in City A-Z, book edited by Steve Pile and Nigel Thrift, London, Routledge, 2000. ISBN 0415207282
  • 'Metropolis of the Midlands', chapter in Urban Space and Representation, edited by Liam Kennedy and Maria Balshaw, London, Pluto Press, 2000. pp162-174. ISBN 0745313493
  • 'Teaching race in cultural studies: a ten-step programme of personal development', chapter in Ethnic and Racial Studies Today, edited by John Solomos and Martin Bulmer, London, Routledge, 1999, pp73-84. ISBN 0415181739
  • 'Riding Multiculturalism', chapter in Multicultural States, edited by David Bennett, London, Routledge, 1998. pp252-266. ISBN 0415121590
  • 'The Fabulous Adventures of the Mahogany Princesses', chapter for Black British Feminisms, edited by Heidi Mirza, London, Routledge, 1997. pp240-252. ISBN 0415152895
  • 'Racial Formations of Youth in Late Twentieth Century England' with John Gabriel, chapter in Youth In Society, edited by Jeremy Roche and Stanley Tucker, London, Sage, 1997. pp68-80. ISBN 0761753736
  • 'Negotiating Cultural Differences' with John Gabriel, chapter in book, Overseas Clinical Elective, edited by Renee Adomat, Oxford, Blackwell Science, 1997. pp77-91. ISBN 0632041021
  • 'The Exotic White Man', paper presented to Gender and Imperialism Conference, University of Birmingham, May 1995. The proceedings of this conference are published as a special journal issue and a book, Kunapipi and Imperialism and Gender: Constructions of Masculinity, edited by C.E.Gittings, (New Lambton, NSW and Hebdon Bridge, West Yorkshire: Dangaroo Press, 1996), pp123-137. Versions of this paper have been presented at Birkbeck College, London and the University of Warwick. ISBN 1-871049-33-4
  • 'Who Fancies Pakis?' Pamella Bordes and the Problems of Exoticism in Multiracial Britain - chapter in Political Gender, edited by Sally Ledger, Josephine McDonagh, Jane Spencer, Hemel Hempstead: Harvester Wheatsheaf, 1994. pp85-97. ISBN 0-7450-1562-X.
  • 'Offence is the Best Defence - Race and Pornography', chapter in Rethinking Sexual Harassment, edited by Clare Brant and Yun Lee Too, London: Pluto,.1994. pp82-96. ISBN 0 7453 0838 4

Articles in referred journals

  • Racism, class and the racialised outsider, Ethnic and Racial Studies review, volume 38, issue 13, October 2015
  • Rereading the empire strikes back, Ethnic and Racial Studies Review, volume  37, issue 10, September 2014
  • Regional narratives and post-racial fantasies in the English riots, in Special Issue of the Journal of Cultural Research, 'Reading the Riot Act', volume 17, issue 2, 2013
  • How can we live with ourselves? Universities and the attempt to reconcile learning and doing (2013) article in Special Issue of ERS 'Race critical public scholarship', volume 36, issue 9, 2013
  • Special Issue of Ethnic and Racial Studies, 'Race critical public scholarship', co-editor with Karim Murji, volume 36 issue 9 2013 with co-written introduction
  • Bhattacharyya, Gargi; Cowles, James; Garner, Steve; Hussain, Ajmal (2012) Communities, Centres, Connections, Disconnections: Some Reflections on the Riots in Birmingham, socresonline February 2012
  • 'Sex, shopping and security, Thinking about Feminist Media Studies again', Feminist Media Studies, volume 11, issue 1, 2011
  • 'Spectatorship and the War on Terror: Creating Consensus through Global Audiences', Special Issue of Globalizations, 'Globalization, Ethics and the War on Terror', vol 6, no. 1, March 2009
  • 'South Asian Cultural Studies - lessons from back home', South Asian Popular Cultures, July 2003. pp3-12. ISSN 14746689
  • 'In defence of amateurism', Ethnic and Racial Studies, May 2003. pp523-527. ISSN 01419870
  • 'Sex, Race and Meat - Cultural Studies, Cultural Materialism and the end of life as we know it', essay in Keywords, 1, 1998, pp47-59. ISBN 0953150305
  • 'Black Skin, White Boards - learning to be the 'race' lady in British H.E.', paper in Parallax, January 1996, pp161-172. ISSN 13534645
  • 'Wogs South of Calais - Rethinking Racial Boundaries for Britain in Europe', article published in Paragraph, volume 16, No.1, March 1993, pp23-33. ISSN 0264-8334

Other journal articles

  • The Apna Generation, an Interview with Gurinder Chaddha, with John Gabriel, in Third Text, Summer 1994, pp55-64. ISSN 0952-8822
  • 'Cultural Education in Britain', article in Oxford Literary Review, Vol.13, nos 1-2, 1991, pp4-19. ISSN 03051498

Other publications

  • Garner, Steve  and Gargi Bhattacharyya (2011)  'Poverty, ethnicity and place', Joseph Rowntree Foundation programme paper: Poverty and ethnicity, May 2011

Book reviews

I have published book reviews in various journals, including, Woman, A Cultural Review, Ethnic and Racial Studies and Gender, Culture, Place.

Other publications

I contributed a monthly column to Guardian Online from January 2002 until June 2005 and have been an occasional contributor since that time. I have also published articles in the newspapers Eastern Eye and the Guardian, and on the BBC Education Website.


  • Globalisation and British Society (SC4002)
  • Adventures in Intersectionality (SC5005)
  • Social Theory 1 (SC4002)
  • Framing questions - MA module


Scholarly Activities

Previously, Gargi contributed a regular column on higher education to Guardian online. She has been interviewed for BBC regional radio and BBC Asian Network.