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Dr. Amrita Datta


Dr. Amrita Datta

Currently working at:

Lecturer, Department of Sociology, Bielefeld University

Monograph: Stories of the Indian Immigrant Communities in Germany: Why Move? (Palgrave Macmillan, 2023)

This book tells the stories of the Indian immigrants in Germany, including the Blue Card holders and students categorized as highly skilled migrants, and others choosing shadow migration pathways to leave the country. It investigates their motivations of leaving India and choosing Germany as an immigration destination. Grappling with the stories of tech workers fleeing the pandemic, activists fleeing the witch hunting of the government, women escaping gender(ed) violence and queer people seeking freedom, this book uses reflexivity as an analytical tool. Investigation of their transcultural practices also reveal a general intent among the Indians to create homes in Germany. However, there are several challenges to such “homing” efforts. Through participant observation and autoethnography, this book argues that structural and everyday symbolic racism in Germany could emerge as a deterrence for the Indians to create a home in the host country.  

Current Research Projects

New Migration among the Indian migrants in the European Union

Past Projects

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

  • 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 


  • Datta, A. (2023). Stories of Indian Immigrant Communities in Germany: Why Move?, Palgrave Macmillan: Switzerland s  
  • Datta, A. et al. (2023) Saffronization of a Land: Is it possible to separate Hinduism from Hindutva in India?, Transcience: A Journal of Global Studies, Vol. 14, Issue 1/2    
  • Datta, A. et al. (2023) Kerala Nurses in Germany: From Heteronormativity to Transnational Patriarchy, Migration and Diversity, Vol. 2, Issue 3 
  • Datta,  A.  (2023).  Book  Review:  Ullah,  AKM.  A.,  &  Chattoraj,  D.  (2022).  COVID-19  pandemic  and  the migrant  population  in  Southeast  Asia:  Vaccine,  diplomacy  and  disparity. Advances  in  Southeast  Asian Studies, 16(1), 171-174.
  • Datta, A. (2022). Mobility as survival and freedom: Pandemic, Immobility and its implications for women and queer migrants. Migration Letters19(6), 791-799.  
  • Datta, A. (2022). Graphic migrations: precarity and gender in India and the diaspora, Gender, Place & Culture, DOI: 10.1080/0966369X.2022.2051318 
  • 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:
  • 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.

Invited talks and paper presentations

  • 2022-05: chaired a panel discussion on “Vaccination against the coronavirus: a civic or a health necessity for the migrants?” at international metropolis conference berlin pre-working group webinar series
  • 2021-11: invited in the panel on "Im/Mobility in times of covid-19", by International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences 2021, to speak on ‘mobility as survival and freedom: sociology of immobility and its implications for women and queer migrants'
  • 2021-03: Co-chair with Prof. Michaela Pelican on "Impacts of the Pandemic on Transnational Migration" at NIICE Global Conclave, 2021
  • 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
  • 2020-10 to 2021-03: Moderator of "Corona Conversations: Mobility in a (post)Covid Future", hosted by the GSSC, University of Cologne (in support of DAAD)
  • 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 Colloquium 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

Courses Taught

  • Summer Semester 2024: What is “new” in new migration? At Department of Sociology, Bielefeld University

  • 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

Memberships and Research Networks

  • Associate Member: Global South Studies Centre, Cologne
  • Member, DFG Working Group “Migration and Mobility during a pandemic”
  • Associated Researcher, DFG Working Group “transMID”