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Sociology Research


Jusmeet S. Sihra is an urban and political sociologist with a deep interest in understanding caste-based inequalities rooted in space. He joined the Department of Sociology at the University of Cambridge in January 2024 as a British Academy International Fellow.

He received his PhD in Sociology in 2023 jointly from Sciences Po Paris and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. His research was generously supported by the Doctoral Scholarship at Sciences Po and the Department of Sociology and Anthropology Scholarship at the Hebrew University. He was awarded the President's Award of the Hebrew University. He holds an MA in Urban Studies (Master Governing the Large Metropolis) from Sciences Po and a BA majoring in Political Science and History from St. Stephen’s College at the University of Delhi.

Jusmeet’s doctoral research explored the mechanisms of caste-based segregation in urban India. He used an innovative mixed-methods approach combining ethnography, interviews, GIS mapping, and newly generated datasets on disaggregated caste categories. His dissertation offered the first micro street view of segregation from below using disaggregated caste categories. In doing so, his research showed how caste stratification and caste-based inequalities are reproduced through urban space.

During his fellowship at the Department of Sociology, his research aims to generate a view of segregation from above by showing how the colonial and the postcolonial state institutions have promoted caste-based segregation. He will explore the historical migration and settlement patterns of ex-untouchables in different neighbourhoods, examine the modus operandi of institutions that name neighbourhoods, map the the institutional presence of the state in ex-untouchable neighbourhoods and investigate the relationship between caste, credit and space.

He theorises segregation from a South Asian perspective, while being in constant dialogue with the conceptualisation of segregation from the US and other Global South settings. Theoretically, he spends time thinking about the degrees of stigma, how stigma affects space and how space affects the processes of stratification and (re)produces inequality. He seeks to produce a theory of caste from the city.

Job Title:
British Academy International Fellow