Bio: Dr. Pallavi Banerjee sees sociology as a discipline that “…can be liberating and transformative”. She joins the Department of Sociology after earning her PhD from the University of Illinois, Chicago. Her areas of interest include families, transnationalism, gender and intersectional theories, and qualitative methods, all of which were highlighted in her PhD dissertation titled Constructing Dependence: Visa Regimes and Gendered Migration in Indian Transnational Professional Families. She is guided in her sociological pursuits by the contributions of theorists such as W. E. B. Du Bois, Michel Foucault, and Edward Said as well as Chandra Talpade Mohanty and Patricia Hill Collins. In the arena of sociology of breakfast cereals Dr. Banerjee points to Kung Fu Panda Crunchers Cereal as “…it's all about the corporation (Disney), controlling images and the secret ingredients”.
Area(s) of interest: Sociology of Families; Immigration and Transnationalism; Globalization, Gender and Intersectionality Theories; Qualitative Methods; Refugee Studies; South Asia & South-Asian Diaspora Studies.
The title of last published work: “When Men Stay Home: Household Labor and Parenthood in Female-Led Families of Indian Migrant Nurses.”
Ph.D. from…: University of Illinois, Chicago
Title of Ph.D. dissertation: Constructing Dependence: Visa Regimes and Gendered Migration in Indian Transnational Professional Families
Reason for choosing sociology: Sociology can be liberating and transformative. Such a discipline is good for the soul of people like me/us who dream of living in a fairer world. I began my academic career as a literary scholar and my professional career as a developmental/social worker. The first gave me a basic theoretical/historical understanding of power and inequalities and the second, along with my own lived experiences, led me to experience what marginalization and privilege at its worst look like in reality. I was left angry and hopeless, and that was bad for my soul because I am a bit of a problem solver. I also like to live in a thought and idea’s space that is critical but not cynical. And that is what brought me to sociology. Sociology provided me both the theoretical and empirical tools to understand social issues that were close to my heart and the resources not to lose faith in the possibility of positive social change.
Favourite classical theorist and favourite theorist: To name one is hard because I believe in "multiple perspectives you see”. So I will pick five theorists who were the most mind altering for me: W.E.B Du Bois, Michel Foucault, Edward Said, Chandra Talpade Mohanty and Patricia Hill Collins.
If you had to choose the most sociological breakfast cereal what would it be and why: Kung Fu Panda Crunchers Cereal because it's all about the corporation (Disney), controlling images and the “secret ingredients”.