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Suraj Beri

I started exploring social sciences during my graduation days in 2007. Due to mechanical popular tendency of memorizing questions for exams, it was quite difficult to get a sense of disciplinary tools and concepts. I joined JNU for Masters in Sociology in 2009 and that was a really challenging both personally and academically. My training at JNU opened up the horizon to make sense of social world in and out of the classroom. The economic and political context of Masters fused my interest in studying economic lifestyles and socio-political aspirations of different social classes in urban spaces.

During my MPhil in 2011, my academic interest was shaped by the then popular protests against corruption in Delhi, when Anna Hazare and newly formed Aam Aadmi Party redefined the middle class ambitions against the Congress led UPA government at Centre. I studied how and in what ways Indian middle class engages with politics and with the growth tends to dominate the popular discourses of cultural aspirations of neoliberal markets, institutional power, everyday administration and urban lives. In my PhD I focused upon the elite section of society. The major research objective during PhD (2018) was to understand and explain mechanisms of production and reproduction of the social inequalities in contemporary Indian society. My doctorate thesis mapped how elite structures change and what are the empirical implications of this change for democracy in Bikaner city of Rajasthan.

My research aims to study social inequality at regional levels and help developing sociological perspectives on the relations between political contestations, social and cultural narratives and mobility of certain classes. I have been working on ‘Emerging Social Inequalities’ as part of the international research projects, with Prof. Boike Rehbein at Institute of Asian and African Studies, Humboldt University Berlin (2014-2018), and a survey project on ‘Youth and Social Change’ with Prof. John Harriss at National University of Singapore (2012-2014). I also got an opportunity to work with Jules Naudet at CSH as part of an international conference organized at JNU in 2016, ‘Sociology of Indian Elites in India’. In the year 2017, with Prof. Surinder S. Jodhka, I got engaged with a project on ‘Ageing in India and Germany’ jointly conducted by JNU and South Asian Institute, Heidelberg. I contributed to an international project conducted by Dr. Ajay Gudawarthy, Centre for Political Studies in JNU, on ‘Global Democratic Politics and Civil Society’ during 2018.

I have taught Sociology to graduate students in Janki Devi Memorial College, Maitreyi College, Lady Shri Ram College for Women and currently working at Indraprastha College for Women, Delhi University.