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Sociology Research


Dr Ali Meghji is a Lecturer in Social Inequalities, having completed a research fellowship at Sidney Sussex College, a visiting fellowship at Harvard’s Weatherhead Centre, and a PhD, MPhil, and BA in sociology at Cambridge. He is the director for the MPhil in marginality and exclusion for the 2019-20 academic year, and is the course organiser for Global Capitalism in Lent and Easter terms, 2020.

Ali’s predominant research interests lie in critical race theory and decolonial thought.

In terms of critical race theory, he is interested in the study of contemporary racism through the racialised social systems approach. In particular, Ali’s prior work on Black middle class Brits brought together insights from cultural sociology with critical race theory in order to investigate British racism and anti-racism. Staying in this line of research, Ali has recently received a grant to study Black elite anti-racism in the US and South Africa, while he also has a forthcoming book on critical race theory answering the question ‘What is theoretical about critical race theory?’

In terms of decolonial thought, Ali is interested in the ongoing presence of coloniality in the world system. Ali has a signifiant interest in the differences that underlie the sociology of race (which centres racialisation as a foundational principle), and decolonial thought (which centres imperialism, Empire, and colonialism), leading him to take a significant interest in the ’synergy’ between the two approaches. In this regard, Ali is interested in how contemporary phenomena - from Trump, through to Bolsanaro, Brexit, and right-wing European populism - cannot be understood solely through the sociology of race or decolonial thought, but rather through a synergy (rather than amalgamation or synthesis) between the two approaches which silmultaneously acknowledge national radicalised social systems and the coloniality of the world system. In terms of decolonial thought, Ali is also interested in how the production and valuation of sociological knowledge is skewed along radicalised and imperial lines. How come so much ‘data’ comes from the South, and yet all the seminal theories we are taught come from the North? How come all the ’top ranked’ sociology journals, manuscript presses, and research centres are based in the North? How does this globalised political economy of knowledge reproduce neo-colonialism, academic dependency, and extraversion at an everyday level for Southern intellectuals?

Given his research interests, Ali also has a keen interest in cultural sociology and social theory. He is available to supervise graduate students in critical race theory; Empire and imperialism; cultural sociology; race and class; and decolonial approaches in social theory and the sociology of knowledge.

Research Interests

Decolonial thought; critical race theory; cultural sociology; race and class; sociology of knowledge; social theory.



SOC1: Introduction to Sociology

SOC4: Concepts and Arguments 

SOC6: Advanced Social Theory

SOC9: Global Capitalism

SOC11: Racism, race and Ethnicity

MPhil: Sociology (Marginality and Exclusion pathway)

Graduate Supervision:

Ali is available to supervise graduate students in the areas of critical race theory; race, racism, and ethnicity; decolonial social theory; cultural sociology; and the sociology of class. 

Key Publications - Books

Meghji, A. (Forthcoming, 2021). Critical race theory: a (re)introduction. Polity.

Meghji, A. (Forthcoming, 2020) Decolonizing Sociology. Polity.

Meghji, A. (Forthcoming, 2020). Race and class in 21st Century Britain. Palgrave.

Meghji, A. (2019). Black middle class Britannia: identities, repertoires, cultural consumption. Racism, resistance and social change (series edited by John Solomos, Satnam Virdee, and Aaron Winter). Manchester: Manchester University Press.

Key Publications - Book Chapters

Meghji, A. (Forthcoming) ‘Post-racialism’. SAGE Encyclopaedia of Research Methods. London: SAGE.

Meghji, A. (Forthcoming). 'Race relations'. Routledge Encyclopaedia of Race and Racism. London: Routledge.

Key Publications - Journal Articles

Meghji, Ali. Forthcoming. 'White power, racialised regimes of truth, and (in)validity’ Sentio.

Meghji, A. (2018) 'Activating controlling images in the racialized interaction order: black middle-class interactions and the creativity of racist action'. Symbolic Interaction, Online First, 1-21.

Meghji, A. and Saini, R. (2018). Rationalising Racial Inequality: Ideology, Hegemony, and Post-Racialism among the Black and South Asian Middle-Classes. Sociology, 52(4), pp. 671–687.

Meghji, A. (2017). Encoding and decoding Black and White Cultural Capitals: Black Middle-Class Experiences. Cultural Sociology, Online First, pp. 1-17.

Meghji, A. (2017). Positionings of the black middle-classes: understanding identity construction beyond strategic assimilation. Ethnic and Racial Studies40(6), 1007–1025.

Meghji, A. (2017). A relational study of the Black middle classes and globalised White hegemony: Identities, interactions, and ideologies in the United States, United Kingdom, and South Africa. Sociology Compass, 11(9), 1-13.

Key Publications - Other

Meghji, A. (2017). Politics then and now: the enduring legacy of Stuart Hall. Cultural Studies31(6), 1-3.

Meghji, A. (2016). The Colour of Class: The Educational Strategies of the Black middle classes. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 39(3), 526-528.

Meghji, A. (2014). The Black middle-class and laissez-faire racism in Britain’s classrooms. Sociology Teacher Journal4(1), 9–13.

Grants and Projects

Meghji, A. "A new Black consciousness? Anti-racism among the Black elite in South Africa and the United States." Cambridge Humanities Research Grants Scheme (£13,657.20)

Research Groups & Affiliations

Job Title:
Lecturer in Social Inequalities, Magdelene College