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The University of Southampton
Centre for Democratic Futures
(023) 8059 3563

Dr Bindi Shah 

Lecturer in Sociology, Erasmus/Exchange Coordinator, Athena Swan Rep

Dr Bindi Shah's photo

Dr Bindi Shah is Lecturer in Sociology within Sociology, Social Policy & Criminology and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. She was a finalist for the Vice Chancellor’s Award for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in 2019.

I am interested in supervising PhD students in areas related to migration, transnational relations, citizenship & belonging, race and gender based exclusion and hate on the Web/Social Media, environmental justice, religion and the environment, religious spaces and religion among ethnic minority communities.

Prior to her appointment at Southampton in 2011, Bindi held an ESRC Research Fellow (2008-2010) in the Department of Social Sciences, Roehampton University. Between 2004 – 2007 she was a Research Fellow on a Leverhulme Trust-funded project ‘British Pakistanis: Exploring Differential Outcomes in relation to Gender and Social Capital’, and a Teaching Fellow in the department of Geography, University College London. She has also held a temporary lectureship in Sociology, in the School of Social Policy and Social Research, University of Kent.

Bindi's research focuses on migration, religion, nationhood, citizenship and belonging with respect to Asian American and British South Asian second-generation, the Jain diaspora, and wider migration and refugee flows to the UK. She adopts Critical Race, Feminist and Postcolonial approaches, and has expertise in qualitative methodologies.

Her book Laotian Daughters: Working toward Community, Belonging and Environmental Justice (2012, Temple University Press) was awarded two prizes: Outstanding Book published in 2012 for Social Sciences from the Association for Asian American Studies, and Honourable Mention from the American Sociological Association Asia and Asian America Section. She has also published in a wide range of journals, and was a member of the Editorial Board for Sociological Research Online 2017-2020. In 2015, she was a Visiting Senior Research Fellow at the Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore. 

Bindi has successfully supervised to completion the following PhD students: 

Aneesh Joseph - Adivasi Field of Contention, Movement Habitus, and Political subjectivity: Land Struggles and Political Practices of Adivasis in Kerala, India.

Tom Courtenay - Conflict of Cultures? A Case Study of Forced Marriage Management Strategies in the United Kingdom.

Luiz Valerio de Paula Trinidade – ‘It is not funny. Critical analysis of racial ideologies embedded in racialized humour discourses on Facebook in Brazil’. Visit the article on The Conversation website.

Fiona Ngarachu – ‘Why not ask the children? Understanding young people’s perspectives on ethnicity and politics in Kenya’. 

Sahar Aljaouhari – ‘Between obedience and rebellion: A field study on the young women of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia’.

Research interests

Current projects:


A key question that Bindi is interested in asking is: What shapes citizenship and a sense of belonging to the nation amongst immigrants and established ethnic minority communities?

Recently, she has explored this question using social media data. Social media platforms such as Twitter, are unique in that they allow the development of a public forum on ‘hot topics’ such as immigration. Elite users, such as politicians, political activists and journalists from traditional media use Twitter to post their views, news and policies. However, many view Twitter as a democratic platform, where non-elite users, can also react to these views, policies and news, as well as create their own content. Bindi has analysed the cultural politics of belonging embedded in social media conversations on migration/immigration to the UK around the time when work restrictions on Romanian and Bulgarian migrants were lifted in 2014.


Bindi is also interested in how immigrants and established ethnic minority communities themselves construct and experience a sense of belonging in the host nation.

Currently, she leads The Pioneers Project, a project of the University of Southampton’s India Centre for Inclusive Growth and Sustainable Development. This project seeks to create a digital archive documenting the lives of South Asians who have made a significant contribution to modern Britain.

Bindi has also examined the role of religion in shaping identity, community and belonging amongst the Jain diaspora in the UK and USA, a socio-economically successful minority religious community in both countries:

  • ‘Transnational Jain diaspora social and political engagements in India’, which investigated  diasporic Jain economic and social remittances to religious organisations delivering development in India;
  • ‘Ethnicity, Religion & Citizenship among the Children of Immigrants in the UK and USA’, which considered how young adult Jains create community and belonging through preservation, creation and transformation of their religious heritage in the context of migration.

These two research projects led to a Visiting Senior Research Fellowship at the Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore in 2015, and an invitation to participate in an AHRC/ICHR Workshop on ‘Cultural Heritage, Migration and Indian Diaspora’, India, in 2019.


  • Lead for Migration Research Cluster, Department of Sociology, Social Policy & Criminology
  • Member of Centre for Democratic Futures, Southampton
  • Member of India Centre for Inclusive Growth and Sustainable Development, Southampton
  • Member of IMISCOE (International Migration, Integration and Social Cohesion in Europe)
  • Member of British Association for South Asian Studies
  • Member of the ESRC Peer Review College since 2010

Current PhD students under supervision:

Kyran De-Silva - Finding a diasporic voice: How are anti-racist and anti-imperialist activisms constructed and mobilised by British South Asian youth? (1st supervisor)

Ellen Atayee-Bennett - How do religious values shape environmental sustainability practices? An exploration of the relationship between veganism and Christianity, Islam and Hinduism (1st supervisor)

Carolynn Low - Refugee Entrepreneurship: Belonging and Social Inclusion for Refugees in the UK (2nd supervisor)

Miloslawa Kwiatek - ‘Entrepreneurship, Citizenship and Belonging in Times of Brexit Uncertainty: Experiences of Polish Migrant Women in the UK’ (1st supervisor) 

Jesse Shipp - ‘Who are we? Who am I?’ – Looking at how grandparents influence the identities of mixed young people (2nd supervisor)

Research project(s)

Religion, Ethnicity, Citizenship: Young Jains in UK & USA

Everyday Nationhood on the Web

This pilot project, funded by the Web Science Institute Stimulus Fund (University of Southampton), investigates views of non-elite Twitter users on immigration at the time of the lifting of work restrictions on Romanian and Bulgarian migrants in the UK, and what these views tell us about how these users define who can belong to the British nation, or who deserves to belong to the nation. It also examines processes by which information and communications on immigrants/immigration are created, disseminated and consumed by citizens via social media.

The Pioneers Project

This project, funded by the University of Southampton, UKRI India, and the Asian Media Group, will create a ‘living history resource’ which documents and analyses the lives of successful South Asians who have made Britain their home, achieved visibility in various sectors, and have made an economic, sociocultural, political and intellectual contribution to its modern society since the 1960s. The project has policy implications in the realm of the social integration of established ethnic minority communities, social cohesion, and multiculturalism in a diverse and globalised Britain.

Transnational Jain diaspora social and political engagements in India

Funded through the Annual Adventures in Research Fund, University of Southampton, this project investigated the social and political impact of Jain diasporic economic philanthropy and social remittances to a Jain non-governmental organisation delivering services in rural Gujarat. This project addresses the interests of national and international policymakers in transnational ties between religious/ immigrant diasporas and their countries of origin, and in the role of religious or faith-based organisations (FBOs) in delivering development.

Race and Nation on The Web

Heritage, Religion and Diaspora

The Pioneers Project, a project of the University of Southampton’s India Centre for Inclusive Growth and Sustainable Development.

Departmental Erasmus/Exchange Coordinator


In Semester 1, I convene and co-teach the 2nd year core module SOCI 2031 Social Theory.

In Semester 2,  I convene and co- teach SOCI 6043 Understanding Social change; and co-convene and co-teach Qualitative Methods Level 1 (RESM 6003) and Level 2 (RESM 6006) that fulfil part of the ESRC Doctoral Training Programme methods training requirements.

Dr Bindi Shah
Building 58, University of Southampton, Southampton SO17 1BJ, United Kingdom

Room Number : 58/4087

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