Jens Lerche

Jens Lerche

SOAS, University of London


Jens Lerche is Professor Emeritus in the Development Studies Department, SOAS University of London. He works on caste and racial discrimination and oppression, and agrarian and labour relations in India. He has done extensive fieldwork on Dalit (the ex-untouchable caste groups) class-caste oppression and rural labour relations in the North Indian state of Uttar Pradesh and across India. Jens did his PhD in Geography in Copenhagen, in 1992 and moved to SOAS University of London in 1994. His early research looked at this at village level. Over the years, as rural Dalit labourers took to labour migration in India, Jens’ research engaged with wider labour and oppression concerns, and theoretical issues such as labour regimes and caste and racial capitalism. This is still his main preoccupation. Much of his recent research has been collaborative and funded by significant research grants. Recent publications include the book Ground down by growth: tribe, caste, class and inequality in 21st century India (A. Shah, J. Lerche, R. Axelby, D. Benbabaali, B. Donegan, J. Raj and V. Thakur, 2018, Hindi edition 2019); Understanding patterns of structural discrimination of migrant and other workers in some countries of South and West Asia (I. Bosc, J. Lerche, Jens, A. Shah, M. Fajerman, and N Wadhawan, Neha 2022, Geneva: ILO) and ‘Black lives matter, capital, and ideology: Spiraling out from India’ (A. Shah and J. Lerche, Journal of British Sociology 2021).

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