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Dr Mahuya Bandyopadhyay

Professor , Mumbai campus

Associate Dean - School of Research Methodology
Centre for Study of Developing Societies , School of Development Studies

Ph.D. (University of Delhi)


Mahuya Bandyopadhyay is a social anthropologist whose interest in issues of development and society are rooted in three contexts:the institutional spaces where development and progress are articulated and pursued; ethnography as a method of researching, narrating and understanding development and its effects, and finally, the new and emergent ways of thinking about and representing the ‘social’, especially in relation to Indian society. Prison research has also led to two other interests: first, gender, specifically in organisational contexts; and second, the pervasiveness of the issues of crime, vigilance, and violence (all central to the prison as an organisation) in society generally. Researching prison-like circumstances in environments outside the prison emerges in this context. An on-going research project focussing on the work, life and the complex legal terrain of security guards in Mumbai manifests this interest. She is currently working on three book projects; one, drawn from her post-doctoral work in a working class neighbourhood near Kolkata, exploring the connections between the prison and the neighbourhood; the other, an edited volume on writings and narratives of women prisoners in India; and the third a co-edited book on the lives of security guards, the macro context of the security Industry and the making of new city spaces in Mumbai.

Current Research Interests:

  • Organisational Sociology
  • Urban Sociology
  • Sociology of Crime and violence
  • Prison Studies
  • Sociology of India
  • Gender, violence and space
  • Ethnography and Qualitative Research Methods



List of Select Publications



Towards a New Sociology in India, co-edited with Ritambhara Hebbar, Orient BlackSwan, 2016.

Everyday Life in a Prison: Confinement, Surveillance, Resistance, Orient Blackswan, 2010.



‘Is there a New Sociology in India’,  in Towards a New Sociology of India, Orient BlackSwan. 2016. (co-authored with Ritambhara Hebbar)

Asian Prisons: Colonial Pasts, Neoliberal Futures and Subversive Sites, in Handbook on Prisons, ed. By Y. Jewkes, J. Bennet and B. Crewe, Routledge, 2016. 

Deviation and Limitations of (Prison) Ethnography: Postscript to Fieldwork in an Indian Prison, in The Palgrave Handbook of Prison Ethnography, ed by D. Drake, E. Rod and J. Sloan, Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2015. 

Sensing Prison Climates: Governance, Survival And Transition, Focaal 68: 3-17. 2014. With Andrew Jefferson and Tomas Martin.

Prison Spaces and Beyond: The Potential of Ethnographic Zoom, Criminal Justice Matters, 91 (1): 28-29. With Andrew Jefferson and Thomas Ugelvik. 2013.


Women on Campus: Negotiating Spaces and Silences, Economic and Political Weekly, December 31, 2011 (co-authored with Shadab Bano, Bijaylaxmi Nanda and Nonica Datta).




Will be updated soon...


Qualitative Research Methods (M.A. in Social Work)

Sociology of Economic Life (M.A. in Development Studies

Society, Culture, Development ( M.A. in Development Studies)

Foundation Course - Understanding Society, Culture and Identity (M.A.) 

Methodological Issues in Development Research (MPhil in Development Studies)

Ethnography, Governance and the City ( MPhil in Development Studies)

Prison Lives and Worlds (MPhil)

PhD Modular Workshops on Research Methods

Writing Workshops for M.A.,MPhil and PhD students.




Email: mahuya.bandyopadhyay[at]tiss[dot]edu


Postal Address: School of Development Studies, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, V.N. Purav Marg, Mumbai - 400088.

Phone: 022-25525317