Prestigious fellowship awarded to University philosopher

Dr Meena Dhanda, Reader in Philosophy and Cultural Politics, has received a £44,942 Research Fellowship from The Leverhulme Trust.

Dr Dhanda, from the School of Law, Social Sciences and Communications, is working on a pioneering project entitled ‘Caste Aside: Dalit Punjabi Identity and Experience’.

Of the 90 Research Fellowships awarded by The Leverhulme Trust across all subjects, Dr Dhanda is one of only four philosophers to have achieved this distinction in 2010.

The research focuses on the experience of caste prejudice in personal relations, and Dr Dhanda will study the extent of separation between caste groups in the UK, looking into the conditions for greater mixing.

Her comparative research will be conducted within the UK in Wolverhampton, Birmingham, Coventry and Oxford. The Fellowship will also fund her fieldwork in Punjab, India in Jalandhar, Chandigarh, Ludhiana and Navanshahr.

Dr Dhanda said: “I am delighted to receive this prestigious fellowship, which will enable me to carry out research into this neglected area. I think we need to understand the complex role of overseas migration and wider socio-economic and political factors to get to the bottom of what keeps caste prejudice alive.”

Dr Dhanda is keen to hear from members of the general public who might want to participate in this project as respondents, sharing their own experience of caste prejudice or as members of organisations involved in challenging caste hierarchies.  She may be contacted via email: M.Dhanda@wlv.ac.uk.  

At the end of the two year project Dr Dhanda plans to present the findings of the research in the form of a monograph.  Dr Dhanda’s previous work The Negotiation of Personal Identity provides the theoretical basis for the current study.

The full list of all the Awards made in 2010 by The Leverhulme Trust is available at: http://www.leverhulme.ac.uk/news/awards/raac.cfm

ENDS

For more information please contact Vickie Warren in the Media Relations Office on 01902 322736

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