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Asiya Islam

Asiya is a PhD researcher at the Department of Sociology, working with Dr Manali Desai. Her research explores the gendered politics of class formation in urban India. In addition to addressing the under-exploration of gender in class analysis and the lack of attention to the politics of 'becoming' middle class, this research will specifically take a ground-up approach by seeking women’s narratives about their identities and aspirations at the interconnected sites of family, work and leisure.

Academic and Professional Background

At Cambridge, Asiya is funded through the Gates Cambridge scholarship. Before joining Cambridge in 2015, Asiya was working on equality and diversity policies at the London School of Economics and was also involved in freelance journalism, writing on gender and race issues. She’s published in the Guardian, Open Democracy and New Statesman. She holds a Master's in Gender, Media and Culture from the London School of Economics and Bachelor's in Commnunicative English from Aligarh Muslim University.

Research Interests

Gender and feminist theory, gender violence, class, inequalities, urban studies, South Asia


Racism vs racial prejudice: on the normalisation of (un)conscious bias, Open Democracy

Book review: gender and violence in the Middle East by Moha Ennaji and Fatima Sadiqi, LSE Review of Books

Book review: blogistan: the internet and politics in Iran, LSE Review of Books

Book review: postcolonial media culture in Britain by Rosalind Brunt and Rinella Cere, LSE Review of Books

  • E-mail:
  • Address: Department of Sociology, Free School Lane, Cambridge CB2 3RQ
  • Supervisor: Dr Manali Desai
  • College: Christ's
  • Thesis Title: The gendered politics of class formation in urban India