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Dr. Amrita Datta


Dr. Amrita Datta

Südbau, Raum 2.23

Otto-Fischer-Str. 4
50674 Köln

E-Mail adatta(at)uni-koeln.de

Currently working at the University of Siegen:

Marie Sklodowska-Curie Fellow
Department of Sociology
University of Siegen
Email: Amrita.DattaSpamProtectionuni-siegen.de

Research Foci

High-skilled Migration, Indo-German Migration, Transnational Labour Migration, Covid-Mobility Interface, Gender and Migration, Future of Migration, Diaspora, Mobility, Globalization, Ethnography, Practice Theory, Qualitative Research Methods 

Current Research Projects

Indian high-skilled migrants in Germany: Transnational Practices and Prospects (Funded by: Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions, Duration: 2021-2023)

Project Information

The project focuses on the transnational practices, motivations of immigration, and trends and prospects of the Indian immigrants in Germany including the latest entrants - Blue Card holders and Indian students in German universities. With the Covid-19 as the special lens, the project proposes to argue that the fast expanding Indian diaspora in Germany impacts the German social life at large and vice versa. Consequently, the project aims at responding to the following questions:

  1. What are the motivations of migration for Indians in Germany?
  2. What are the transnational practices of the Indian migrants in Germany?
  3. What are the networks or pathways explored by Indian women migrants in Germany for transnational practices? What kind of practices emerge from those networks?
  4. What are the short and long term impacts of the Covid-19 on the growing Indian community in Germany?

Past Projects

Moderator of the web talk series: "Corona Conversations: Mobility in (post)Covid Future"

Supported by the DAAD and hosted by the GSSC, this digital interface engages with questions like what are the human(e) costs of restricted mobility as a control mechanism of Covid? How does Covid 19 impact the future migration, mobility and transnationality trends? Does Covid fundamentally change the pattern of future mobility forever? How does one negotiate between the need to migrate and the need to protect against the contagion?

For further details: https://gssc.uni-koeln.de/veranstaltungen/webinare/2020-corona-conversation-mobility-and-migration

Future Migration Project (FuMiPRo): Changing Landscapes and Transnational Practices of Indian Women Migrants in Germany

This project focuses on the transnational practices of Indian women migrants in Germany with larger reference to future of migration. Through the theoretical intervention of Schatzki and Bourdieu, this project explores the emergence of an Indian women diaspora in German host society including the Blue Card holders, erstwhile Green Card holders, students and academics, Sikh women migrants and Kerala nurses. In view of the migrant-non-migrant interface, through this project I argue that the emergence of an Indian women diaspora in Germany and their transnational practices impact the German social life at large and vice versa.

Salient research questions include:

  • What are the networks or pathways explored by Indian women migrants in Germany for transnational practices? What kind of practices emerge from those networks?
  • What are the points of similarity and departure of these practices across generations?
  • What are the salient attributes of Indian women diaspora in Germany? How does it differ from other diaspora in the host society with visible women representation?
  • How does Indian women diaspora in Germany impact the German social lives?

Past Research Projects (details on ResearchGate)

PhD Dissertation: Disjuncture of Flows: Experiences of Exclusion and Inclusion for Indian Guest-workers in Germany

M.Phil. Dissertation: Economic Globalization: Uneven Development and Social Exclusion


  • 2010-2018: PhD in Sociology, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi
  • 2013-2014: Research Fellow, Humboldt University, Berlin
  • 2008-2010: M.Phil. in Sociology, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi
  • 2006-2008: M.A. in Sociology, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi
  • 2003-2006: B.A. (Honours) in Sociology, St. Xavier’s College, Calcutta 

Courses Taught

  • December, 2019-January, 2020: Undergraduate Level: Gender and Migration, Postgraduate Level: Urbanization in Contemporary India, at University of Cologne, Germany
  • January-July, 2019: Postgraduate Level: Transnational Feminism and Undergraduate Level: Culture and Identity, at Ambedkar University Delhi, India
  • August-December, 2018: Postgraduate Level: Economy, Polity and Society and Undergraduate Level: Law, Politics and Society, at Ambedkar University Delhi, India



  • Datta, A. (2021), Can Blue Collar Migrants Survive City Lives Amidst Covid-19?: A Conversation with Nina Glick Schiller, Transcience: A Journal of Global Studies, Vol. 12, Issue 1, 2021.
  • Datta, A. (2020), Does Covid-19 Facilitate New Migration: Exploring a Fast-expanding Indian Diaspora in Germany, Boasblog/Witnessing Corona, doi: https://boasblogs.org/witnessingcorona/does-covid-19-facilitate-new-migration/
  • Datta, A. (2020), Indo-German Transnationalism: Between Place-making and ‘Homing’ (tentative), Palgrave Macmillan, London.
  • Datta, A. (2019), Undervalued Dissent: Informal Workers’ Politics in India (by Manjusha Nair) in International Sociology, Volume: 34 issue: 2, pp. 175-178.
  • Datta, A. (2017), Mediascape and Identity Reproduction and Sustenance: A Case of Indian Guest-workers in Germany, Journal of Media Critique, Vol 3, Issue 12, pp. 213-225.
  • Datta, A. (2016), Ethnoscape-Financescape Interface: Work Space Experiences for Indian Guest-Workers in Germany, Transcience: A Journal of Global Studies, Vol.6, Issue 1, March, pp. 51-68. 
  • Soyler, T., Basu, A., Datta, A. (2016), Hindistan'dan tanıdık bir hikâye, Birikim Dergisi, Vol. 10, pp. 106-114.
  • Datta, A. (2014), The Left Debacle in Lok Sabha 2014: A Critical Overview, Mainstream Weekly, Vol. LII, No.25, pp. 51-57.
  • Datta, A. (2014), ‘Adda’ as the Locale of Bengali Public Sphere: From Coffee House to Barista, West Bengal Sociological Review, Volume III, pp. 17-25.

Paper Presentations

  • 2021-03: Keynote Speaker on "Labour (in)visibility and Labour (im)mobility during the Pandemic: Reimagining the Usual Suspects of Globalization" at Bonn Centre for Dependency and Slavery Studies, University of Bonn, Germany 

  • 2019-07: Panel Convenor of „South Asia in Flux: Development, Displacement and Migration“ at International Convention of Asia Scholars (ICAS 11), Leiden
  • 2019-07: “Indian Women Migrants in Germany: Practices and Habitat”, ICAS 11, Leiden
  • 2019-05: “Media Consumption Practices of Indian Female Migrants in Germany“, Global Studies Program, Humboldt University Berlin
  • 2018-06: “Heteronormative Practices and the Diaspora: Cases of Indian Female Migrants in Germany“, Weekly Seminar Series, Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta
  • 2017-05: “Indo-German Migration: Indian High-skilled labour in Germany“, Invited talk at University of Cologne
  • 2015-06: “Economic Globalization and International Migration of Labour: A Case of Indian Guest workers in Germany“, Summer Cooloquium Series, Humboldt University Berlin
  • 2015-06: “Indian Guest-workers in Germany: Experiences of Social Exclusion and Inclusion in the Host Society“, Public Lecture, Department of Sociology, Leopold Franzens University, Innsbruck, Austria
  • 2014-10: “Guest-workers in Germany: Dynamic of Socio-cultural Exclusion and Inclusion“, Anjan Ghosh Memorial Workshop, Centre for Study of Social Sciences, Calcutta
  • 2011-12: “Economic Globalization: Uneven Development and Social Exclusion“, Annual Conference of Indian Sociological Society, New Delhi
  • 2010-07: “Vision of a Global Civil Society: Paradigm of Exclusion and Inclusion“, Annual Conference of Centre for Public Policy, Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Bangalore