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Sociology Research


The GendV Project aims to explore the many urban transformations and changing gender relations in New Delhi, India and Johannesburg, South Africa. The project started in January 2020 and is a research project funded by the Economic and Social Research Council. The GendV Project is based in the Department of Sociology at the University of Cambridge and is led by Principle Investigator Dr Manali Desai along with a team of Co-Investigators and Researchers.

Recent movements against sexual violence such as #MeToo and mass mobilizations in many countries of the global South such as India, South Africa, Brazil and Peru have brought global attention to violence against women. It is an opportune time to put forward a bold and innovative research agenda that will address why, despite decades of legislation and policy efforts, violence against women remains so high. The vision of this project is to develop a blueprint for a new generation of scholarship on gendered violence, specifically in this case public and private sexual violence. We have identified a clear need to understand this normalization by moving towards what researchers have called a ‘second wave’ of violence research that is theoretically oriented, historically sensitive, contextual, and aimed at granular analyses of violence that can inform more successful and targeted violence-reduction strategies. We will do this through a historically informed, contextualized and long-term qualitative study that is simultaneously comparative across nation-states. While large survey data and epidemiological approaches offer much insight into trends and patterns of violence, our approach will offer crucial qualitative toolkits for future researchers. Building upon a growing body of ethnographic work on gendered violence, we call for a second-wave of research that places violence within wider transformations in the political-economy of urban life and livelihoods, the attendant shifts in family forms and gender relations, and the historical legacies of racial, ethnic and other forms of categorization that in turn implicate men and women in specific relations to the state and economy.

Principal Investigator: Dr Manali Desai

Research Theme: Politics and Inequality

Funding: ESRC Large Grant

Start Date: Wed, 15/01/2020

End Date: Sat, 15/04/2023

Visit The GendV Project Website here.