Prof. Aparna Rayaprol, faculty in the Department of Sociology, School of Social Sciences, University of Hyderabad (UoH) has published a paper “Reverse Migrations and Women’s Role in Shaping Religious Identities in Hyderabad” in association with Anushyama Mukherjee and Pitheli K. Jimo in Contemporary South Asia. This is published in Contemporary South Asia which is part of the Routledge Taylor and Francis Group.

The paper is based on ethnographic observations of religious practices among Muslim return migrants from the Gulf, and among Hindu return migrants from the United States. The goal of these observations was to understand the ways that diasporic cultures have transformed these migrants’ religious practices after they return to India.  The focus was on the city of Hyderabad, in South India, with its long history of diverse Muslim communities, and recent histories of migration and reverse migration to the Gulf region in Western Asia, as well as recent transformations through the growth of gated communities that have attracted Hindu reverse migrants from the United States.

The focus is on women’s engagement with religious cultural practices and the ways in which religion and gender are restructured through the process of migration and reverse migration. The paper showed that despite religious differences, diasporic returnees have shaped the new ways of consumption borrowed from the host nations in the Gulf or America to influence the celebrations in Hyderabad. Hyderabad as a city has changed enormously because of the wealth of remittances and return migration.

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Aparna Rayaprol is Professor and Former Head, Department of Sociology, University of Hyderabad Her areas of interest include gender studies, Indian diaspora, qualitative research methods and urban sociology. Earlier, she was an Associate Professor in Research Methodology at the Tata Institute for Social Sciences in Mumbai. She was a faculty member on the Semester at Sea Fall 2003 Voyage which went around the world (10 countries) teaching courses in sociology. Her PhD was from the University of Pittsburgh. Her research on second generation Indian-Americans was funded initially by an ICSSR grant on Indian diaspora and Princeton University at the Center for the Study of American Religion in 1998-99. She continues to work in the area of diaspora and gender as well as globalization and gender in the Indian context. She is the author of Negotiating Identities: Women in the Indian Diaspora, New Delhi, Oxford University Press, 1997.

She was the Director of the Study in India Program from 2009-14 at the University of Hyderabad and was associated with it since its inception in 1998 and has been closely involved with its academic as well as administrative responsibilities. She has been conceptualizing and teaching new courses for SIP and coordinating the academic activities between teachers and students as well as reciprocal institutions.