Sandeepan Tripathy

Sandeepan is currently a Ph.D. Candidate and a Graduate Teaching Assistant at the National University of Singapore, Department of Sociology. He is also the Managing Editor of Asian Journal of Social Science. Previously he finished his MSc in Sociology from the London School of Economics and Political Science and also held a scholarship at the Karl Jaspers Center for Advanced Transcultural Studies at the Ruprecht Karl University of Heidelberg.

Sandeepan’s doctoral research focuses on the relationship between different forms of precarity, the value of labour, and the emergent politics of interstate migrant workers in India. In a context where labor unionization workers is absent, Sandeepan analyses other ways of worker’s collectives that form not as unions but as communities. Beyond established analyses of labor precarity, Sandeepan explores how migrant precarity forms through animal interactions, kinship systems and climate change. Through this threefold focus, Sandeepan asks fundamental questions such as Why does a community move? How does How does a community understand and theorize their conditions as insecurity?? What is relationship between insecurity and moving?

The research examines the relationship between precarious labor and the politics of interstate migrant workers in India. It explores how insecurity and the decision to move becomes a dispositional aspect of an Odia community which has since 1960s been one of the agrarian communities at the forefront of the textile labor force in India. My research examines the political economy of life and livelihoods in the agrarian home, prior to and alongside becoming a part of the textile industry. It explores forms of precarity that arise from climate change, kinship and human-animal interactions. Using an ethnographic approach, I accompany Odia migrant workers from their rural home in eastern India, through their train journeys to the textile work floor in Surat, western India, covering 1500 miles. Inspired the recent debates in affect and mobility theory in understanding social action and meaning making, the research unpacks how the decision to move emerges as response to migrant precarity. The research analyses the multiple factors that lead to the decision to move, how this decision is felt and how these emotions characterize migration in India.

Areas of study: Sociology, Precarity, Migration, Labour