Dr Srabani Maitra
- Lecturer in Sociology of Education (Social Justice Place & Lifelong Education)
I am a sociologist of education and an adult educator. I have a PhD in Adult Education and Community Development from OISE at the University of Toronto and a Masters degree in Women’s Studies from Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, Canada. Before arriving in Glasgow, I was an Eyes High Post-doctoral scholar at the Werklund School of Education in the University of Calgary, Canada.
My research combines interdisciplinary theories and methodologies from sociology and education to focus on the issues of education/ learning, workplace skill training, transnational migration and community development. My research has been published in journals such as the Curriculum Inquiry, Studies in Continuing Education, Globalisation Societies and Education, Qualitative Inquiry, Journal of Workplace Learning.
Going beyond traditional forms of scholarly inquiry, I have drawn on the arts-informed qualitative research to raise public awareness about socio-economic inequities and struggles of marginalized groups. In this regard, I have developed and designed (as part of a team), a multi-media ethnodrama focusing on the gendered and racialized nature of work in post-Fordist economy. I have also completed a documentary film, “Journey to Find Myself Again” funded by York University Faculty Association, Canada. This film is around the causes of social inequities experienced by immigrant women of colour in the Canadian labour market.
Over the years, I have deeply engaged in community campaigns around issues such as anti-racism, anti-poverty, and education reform in Canada. My pedagogy too, underpinned by a social justice lens, is committed towards foregrounding suppressed voices, anti-racist and anti-colonial education as well as systemic changes.
Before pursuing an academic career, I was a secondary school English Teacher in India.
I am interested in issues of adult learning, skill, racial and class relations, transnational migration, lifelong learning, vocational education and education policy.
- My current project, Exploring Initial School Integration among Syrian Refugee Children (PI Prof. Yan Guo, University of Calgary) informed by a critical policy sociology approach, focuses on newcomer Syrian refugee children’s school transition policies and aims to bring new voices of immigrant as well as refugee parents and children into the educational policy process in Canada.
My longer and continuing research has focused on the relationship between work-related training, adult learning, and migration in our neoliberal present. In this context, my work critically analyzes “human capital” formations through work-related learning/training in the emergent knowledge economies of Canada and India. I have conducted four funded international research projects in the above area:
- Redefining “Enterprising Selves”: Exploring the “Negotiation” of South Asian Immigrant Women Working as Home-Based Enclave Entrepreneurs: By drawing on the lived experiences of South Asian immigrant community in Canada, my doctoral research based on a feminist interpretive inquiry traces how employment-related training programs offered by immigrant settlement agencies in Canada are increasingly driven by a hegemonic neoliberal discourse of the “enterprising self”.
- Bridge to “Success”? Examining the experiences of highly educated immigrant women of colour enrolled in Bridge to Work programs in Ontario: This post-doctoral project examines the efficacy of government sponsored “Bridge To Work” programs in facilitating the entry of immigrant women of colour into employment commensurate with their pre-immigration education and training in Canada. The study critically traces the ways in which dominant racial and gender assumptions underpinning the labour market are often normalized and replicated through soft skill trainings offered as part of the program.
- The molding of Indian immigrant IT workers into enterprising labour: An exploration of the labour control regime by global recruitment agencies: Remaining sensitive to the dynamics of unequal power relations, equity, and social justice within workplaces, this project, combining transnationalism and intersectionality theory, seeks to understand the changing modalities of labour control and disciplining in the current post-Fordist labour market in India and Canada.
- Skill India and Vocational Education: An Exploratory Study: This study examines the impact of vocational skill training on lower class youth population in India.
Currently I am part of a team of researchers from the School of Education at University of Glasgow who are working on a large funded project in Wales focused on progression of learning.
SFC-Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF)
The role of Universities in developing skills for smart cities in India and Kyrgyzstan
2018-2019 (In Progress)
ESRC Impact Acceleration Account
Exchanging Knowledge with policymakers and marginalised youth about skill training in India
College Strategic Research Major Initiatives Fund
University of Glasgow
University International Grant
University of Calgary, Canada
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Canada
Targeted Research on Syrian Refugee
2016-Present (In Progress)
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Canada
I am currently supervising four PhD and eight MA students. I am open to taking on new PhD students with projects related to my research interests–please feel free to contact me with enquiries.
- International Issues in Adult Education
- PGT Introduction to Education and Society Research
- PGDE Professional Enquiry
- PGT Modern Education Thought
- M.Educ 3 Enquiry
- M.Educ 4 Education and Society
Selected Refereed Conference Presentations
Guo, S., & Maitra, S. (May 2017). Beyond a nationalistic approach: Revisioning curriculum in the age of transnational mobility in Canada. 6th BNU/UCL IOE (Beijing Normal University/University College of London, Institute of Education) International Conference in Education, Beijing Normal University, China.
Maitra, S. (May 2017). Considering the Crucial: Ethics, Research, Publication. Organized and Chair Pre-conference for graduate students and Post-doctoral scholars, Canadian Association for the Study of Adult Education [CASAE] Conference, Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada.
Maitra, S. (May 2017).The making of the ‘precarious’: Examining Indian immigrant IT workers in Canada and their transnational networks with body shops in India. In Guo. S. organized symposium, Work, Learning and Transnational Migration: Opportunities, Challenges and Debates. Canadian Association for the Study of Adult Education [CASAE] Conference, Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada.
Maitra, S., Arshad-Ayaz, A., Das Gupta, T. (May 2017). Pedagogical potential of documentary and social media in creating conditions for critical pedagogy. Symposium presented at the Comparative and International Education Society of Canada (CIESC), Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada.
Guo, Y., Maitra, S., & Guo, S. (May 2017). Straddling the two worlds: Exploring challenges to Syrian refugee children’s school integration in Canada. Paper presented at the Canadian Society for the Study of Education Conference (CSSE), Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada.
Guo, Y., & Maitra, S. (May 2017). Immigrant parent mobilization for equitable ELL policy in Alberta. Paper presented at the Canadian Society for the Study of Education Conference (CSSE), Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada.
Guo, Y., Maitra, S., & Guo, S. (March 2017). Exploring challenges to Syrian refugee children’s school integration in Canada. Paper presented at the 19th National Metropolis Conference: Looking Forward: Migration and Mobility in 2017 and Beyond, Montreal, Canada.
Maitra, S. & Maitra, S. (May 2016). The Training/Learning Paradox: A comparative study of Employment Training Programs in Kolkata and Toronto. Paper presented at the Engaging India and Canada: Landmarks and Roadmaps for Global Educational Collaboration between Canada and India,Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute, New Delhi, India.
Guo, Y., Maitra, S., & Wu, X. (May 2016). Two Decades of Community Engagement for Improved ELL policies. Paper presented at the Canadian Association of Applied Linguistics Conference, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada.
Maitra, S. (May 2016).Negotiating soft skill training: Examining the training/learning experiences of highly educated South Asian immigrant women in Canada. Paper presented at the Canadian Association for the Study of Adult Education [CASAE] Conference, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada.
Maitra, S. (Dec 2015). Learning to be Supple? Neoliberal trends, learning regimes and the Canadian labour market. Paper presented at the Researching Work and Learning Conference [RWL], School of the Arts, Singapore.
Maitra, S. (June 2013). Transnational ties, flexible workers: Exploring the strategies adopted by Indian immigrant IT workers in Canada to access the labour market. Paper presented at the Researching Work and Learning Conference [RWL], University of Stirling, Stirling, Scotland.
Maitra, S. (February 2012). ‘You Need to Recognize Our Initiatives’: Examining the Lived Experiences of Self-employed South Asian Immigrant Women within Ethnic Enclaves in Toronto. Paper presented atthe International Conference on Canadian Studies, “Demystifying the Urban: Borderlands of Canada and India”,Centre for Canadian Studies, Jadavpur University, Kolkata, India.
Maitra, S. (February 2012). ‘Cultivating ‘ethnic ties’-National and Transnational: Exploring the strategies adopted by South Asian immigrants in Canada to access the labour market. Paper presented at the 14th National Metropolis Conference, Toronto, Canada.
Maitra, S., & Maitra, S. (February 2011). ‘Negotiating ‘Mother-Work’: Exploring the Lived Experiences of South Asian Working Mothers in Kolkata and Toronto. Paper presented at the International Conference on Building Bridges: Negotiating Cultural Memories in Canada and India, Centre for Canadian Studies, Jadavpur University, Kolkata, India.
Maitra, S., & Maitra, S. (February 2010). ‘Negotiating Precariousness’: Exploring the Lived Experiences of South Asian Immigrant Women Working as Home-based Entrepreneurs in Toronto. Paper presented at Land of Promise: Stories of the immigrant in multicultural Canada: International Conference on Canadian Studies, Centre for Canadian Studies, Jadavpur University, Kolkata, India.
Maitra, S. (October 2010). ‘The Making of Subjects’: Thinking Through Agency and Resistance in Diverse Settings. Paper presented at the Race, Ethnicity and Place Conference, Binghamton, NY, USA.
Maitra, S. (November 2008). ‘Negotiating the Blocked Mobility Effects’: Lived Experiences of South Asian Immigrant Women in Home-based Work in Toronto.Paper presented at the 107th Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association Conference, San Francisco, California, USA.
Maitra, S., Mirchandani, K., Sangha, J., Slade, B., & Shan, H. (May 2007). ‘Skilled in Vulnerability’: A Multimedia Ethnodrama on Learning in the Racialized Culture of Contingency. Paper presented at the 7th Annual Critical Race and Anticolonial studies conference of researchers and academics of colour for equality (R.A.C.E), OISE, Toronto, Canada.
Maitra, S., Mirchandani, K., Sangha, J., Slade, B., Shan, H., & Promislow, S. (October 2006). ‘Skilled in Vulnerability’: An Ethnodrama on Learning in the Racialized Culture of Contingency. Paper presented at the False Promises: Precarious Work in the New Economy, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada.
Ng, R., Maitra, S., & Siddiqui, K. (April 2004). The Discursive Practice of Racialization: Examples from the Garment Industry. Paper presented at the Race, Racism and Empire: The Local and the Global Conference, York University, Toronto, Canada.
Guo, Y., & Maitra, S. (2017). Gaps in Policy and Practice for ELL Planning and Programs and Possible Solutions. Paper presented at the College of Alberta School Superintendents (CASS) Conference, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
Maitra, S. (2015). Unsettling Canadian Experience. Keynote speaker at Community Roundtable, Canadian Experience: Shaping Lives and Generations. Organized by Bengali Information and Employment Services and Centre for Asian Research, York University, Toronto, Canada. http://bluffsadvocate.ca/september2015/bengalinewcomers.html
Man, G., & Maitra, S. (2013). Labour Market Participation and Transnational Migration Practices of Immigrant Women Professionals from India. Paper presented at the Indo-Canadians: Dimensions of Economic Integration Conference, Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada.
Maitra, S. & Das Gupta, T. (2013). Film Screening of A Journey to Find Myself Again: Experiences of South Asian immigrant women in the Canadian Labour Market. Centre for Studies in Education, OISE, University of Toronto, Canada.
Maitra, S. (2011). “Tracing the Immigration Process of South Asians in Canada”. Paper presented in the Centre for Canadian Studies, Department of Comparative Literature, Jadavpur University, Kolkata, India.
Maitra, S. (2011). The governing of immigrants of colour into neoliberal enterprising workers: An analysis of South Asian immigrant women’s experiences of employment training programs in Toronto. Paper presented in the Centre for Canadian Studies, Department of Comparative Literature, Jadavpur University, Kolkata, India
- Adult Education Quarterly
- Asian Women
- Curriculum Journal
- International Review of Education
- Journal for the Social and Behavioural Sciences and Humanities
- Journal of Gender, Work & Organization
- Journal of Adult and Continuing Education
- South Asian Diaspora
- Canadian Association for the Study of Adult Education (CASAE)
- Canadian Society for the Study of Education (CSSE)
Other Selected Grants and Scholarships
- Eyes High Post-Doctoral Grant, University of Calgary, Canada
- York University Faculty Association Grant (with Professor Tania Das Gupta, York University), Canada
- Shastri Indo-Canadian Scholar Travel Subsidy Grant
- PhD Entrance Scholarship,OISE, University of Toronto, Canada
- Dean’s Special Scholarship, OISE, University of Toronto, Canada
- Graduate Scholarship, Saint Mary’s University, Halifax, Canada
- Gordon Cressy Student Leadership Award, University of Toronto, Canada
Other University Services
Embracing Diversity: Promoting Leadership. Organized panel discussion at Werklund School of Education, Teaching and Learning Centre, University of Calgary, Canada (Mar 2017)
Post-Doctoral Representative, Canadian Association for the Study of Adult Education (CASAE), University of Calgary, Canada (May 2016-May 2017)
Post-Doctoral Representative, Diversity and Equity Network, University of Calgary, Canada (Nov 2016-April 2017)