I use ethnographic and interview methods to study the intersections between work, gender and sexuality, and social class. I am currently working on a book that examines the popular yet stigmatized occupations of beauty work and retail work in Pakistan’s new service economy. My book explores how women workers craft complex class-gender performances, relations, and subjectivities as they enter the public sphere for work in a country where the female labor force participation rate remains exceedingly low. I’ve recently completed another project that analyzes working-class women’s digital purdah (veiling) and expressive sexuality on TikTok in Pakistan. In my classes, I teach students how gender, race, and class are co-constituted and that long histories of unequal encounters produce what becomes the social “norm.” Together we learn to denaturalize what is often considered immutable and consequently, to recognize possibilities for social change. In my free time, I like to cook food, stare at animals, try every kind of dumpling in the world, and organize with comrades.
SpecialtyGender and Sexuality, Labor, Social Class, Feminist Theory, Digital Culture, Pakistan, South Asia
PhD 2022 New School for Social Research, BA 2011 Lahore University of Management Sciences
- Introduction to Sociology
- Labors of Love
Kamran, Sidra. 2022. “Experiencing the City as Workers: The Spatial Practices of Beauty and Retail Workers in Pakistan.” Sociology of South Asia: Postcolonial Legacies, Global Imaginaries. Eds. Smitha Radhakrishnan and Gowri Vijayakumar. Palgrave Macmillan.
Kamran, Sidra. 2021. “A Patchwork of Femininities: Working-Class Women’s Fluctuating Gender Performances in a Pakistani Market.” Gender & Society. 35(6):971–94.
*Honorable Mention. 2021 Cheryl Allyn Miller Award, Sociologists for Women in Society.