Graduate Students

For current updates on the department as seen from eyes of our graduate students, please visit our Facebook page

Click on image to email

Ambika AIYADURAI (PhD Anthropology)


Ambika’s research focuses on the politics of nature conservation in the Indian Himalayas. Ambika has a master’s degrees in wildlife sciences (Wildlife Institute of India), and anthropology and environment (University College London, UK). Her long-term interest is to understand people-nature relations and how local and global forces shape these relations.

Daria ALIEVA (PhD Sociology)


My dissertation thesis examines the emergence of the 2011-2013 wave of protests under the electoral authoritarian regime in Russia. My research interests include comparative historical sociology, political sociology, contentious politics and social movements.

Annisa Beta (CSA PhD)

My research interests include Islamic feminism, popular culture, and issues on memory and reconciliation. My PhD project revolves around hijabers communities in Indonesia. I have published my research with International Communication Gazette and KLIUC Malaysia.

Rachita BISHT (PhD Sociology)

Rachita BISHT

Trained in Psychology, Sociology and Education, I am highly passionate about interdisciplinary Childhood Studies and am currently working on bi-directional parent-child relations, generationality, gender and co-agency as enacted in household norms. With publications in peer-reviewed journals, I am also passionate about teaching, having taught Psychology and received the ‘Best Teaching Assistant Award’ for Sociology in 2014.

Birgit R. BUERGI (PhD Anthropology)

Birgit R. BUERGI

Birgit conducts her ethnographic anthropological dissertation research under the ‘Asian Biopoleis: Biotechnology and Biomedicine as Emergent Forms of Life and Practice’ project, hosted at the Asia Research Institute, NUS, where she is a Research Scholar. Her field-based study investigates the social bond between art and science in postgenomic Thailand.

Shiqin ‘Eddie’ CHOO(M.Soc.Sci. Sociology)

Shiqin CHOO

I am conducting a study on the organisational changes that have happened throughout the years. I will also be looking at the formation of the public sector leaders.

Romit Chowdhury (Soc PhD)


My research interests include feminist studies, masculinities, urban studies, ethnography, higher education, and cultural studies in Asia. I have written about male sexual violence, men’s rights movements, care work, and men doing feminist research in India in the Economic and Political Weekly, Indian Journal of Gender Studies, and Culture, Society & Masculinities.

GU Xiaorong (PhD Sociology)

GU Xiaorong

I am interested in understanding social consequences of China’s economic reform through the lens of family changes. My current research via mixed methods focuses on teenagers’ lives and intergenerational relationships in urban and rural families in the context of mass internal migration. A paper under review, co-authored with Jean Yeung, is titled “One-parent Household and Adolescents' Well-being in China”.

Achala GUPTA (PhD Sociology)

Achala GUPTA

Achala’s PhD dissertation attempts to explain the system of school education in urban India. As a trained social worker (TISS), demographer (IIPS), and education researcher (Cantab), she has worked on issues of child-rights, social media, environment, migration, and education. Her research interests include ethnography, commoditisation, government, and the urban.

Minhye KIM (PhD Sociology)

Minhye KIM

My major field of interest is sociology of health and illness. My Ph.D. thesis is on the effect of East Asian welfare capitalism on health inequalities in Singapore and Korea. (Publication: Kim, J.-h., Kim, M., & Kim, J. (2013). Social Activities and Health of Korean Elderly Women by Age Groups. Educational Gerontology, 39(9), 640-654. doi: 10.1080/03601277.2012.730454)

Arudhra Krishnaswamy (CSA PhD)

Key areas of research:
Dance Studies, Embodiment, Movement Therapy, Ritual Healing, Film Studies, Gender and sexuality, Globalisation


Book: Lesbian ‘Desis’ in Indian Cinema: Re-defining the Boundaries of the (Glo)bal and the Lo(cal), 2011. Lambert Academic Publishing: Berlin, Germany (ISBN: 978-3-8433-9239-6).

There has been a lot of work on dance but the majority of it is still limited to just the aesthetics and beauty of performing arts. I am interested in expanding this field by understanding dance and its relationship to society, to human rights and social change in India. My objective is to understand the ways in which dance and movement are used as a recovery method in India and how they aid in healing and rehabilitating an individual who has been through physical, mental or emotional trauma of some kind. I am interested in examining the benefits and challenges of using dance/movement as a healing tool for such individuals. In so doing, the broad aim of my work is to throw light on the emancipatory and social role of performing arts and on how dancers that are socially committed can impact their communities using dance that is not only aesthetically engaging but also be an effective means of social development.

Nur Aisyah KOTARUMALOS (PhD Anthropology)


Funded by Indonesia Endowment Fund for Education (LPDP) Ministry of Finance, Republic of Indonesia, Aisyah’s Ph.D thesis examines the notion of being “Bugis”. The Bugis people are one of the ethnic groups thatare subsumed and represented under the racial/ethnic category of “Malay” in Johor, Malaysia.

Aaron LEE (M.Soc.Sci. Sociology)

Aaron LEE

Aaron is Singaporean. He obtained a B.Soc.Sci. in Sociology from NUS in 2013 and embarked on the M.Soc.Sci. program immediately after. His research interests include economic sociology, political sociology and political economy. He is currently looking into institutional change under economic liberalisation in Singapore for his thesis.

Rafael MARTINEZ (PhD Sociology)


Rafael Martinez is currently pursuing his PhD in Anthropology. He was initially oriented to legal topics in Muslim societies. In recent years, Rafael’s research has shifted from urban planning and politics in former French Indochina to modern urban phenomena in megacities such as Jakarta.

Lavanya RAMESH (PhD Sociology)

Lavanya RAMESH

Lavanya Ramesh is a PhD candidate with the Department of Sociology at NUS. Using the lived experiences of Indian youths as a lens within the context of secondary and tertiary schooling in Singapore, her thesis seeks to investigate the contentious relationship between ethnic minority groups and educational achievement. Her research interests include race and ethnicity, education, family, gender and migration. Lavanya completed her Masters degree in NUS (Southeast Asian Studies) in 2009 for which she was awarded the Benjamin Batson gold medal.

Amritorupa SEN (PhD Sociology)

Amritorupa SEN

My research interests broadly include social stratification, social capital and inequality in the Indian context. My doctoral dissertation examines social networks in rural and urban West Bengal under conditions of migration and how it shapes relations within and across caste and class boundaries. By using mixed methods, I aim to address how macro social contexts affect individual relationships in a developing country.

Shelley Mae Jalandoon SIBYA(PhD Sociology)

Shelley Mae Jalandoon SIBYA

Shelley received her undergraduate degree in Organizational Communication (cum laude) from the University of Philippines Manila and Masters degree in Sociology from the Ateneo de Manila University. Her research interests center on family, gender and migration. Her PhD thesis focuses on the family relationships and practices of Filipino seafarers.

SIM Kai Lin (M.Soc.Sci. Sociology)

SIM Kai Lin

My thesis is titled ‘Friendship Among Young Adults in The Subculture of Cosplay in Singapore’. My current research explores the conceptualisation and utilisation of friendship by young adults, in the subculture of cosplay, to fulfil certain needs and desires. Research interests: urban anthropology, personal relations, popular culture, classical sociological theory and commercialisation of everyday life.

TAN Junbin (M.Soc.Sci. Sociology)

TAN Junbin

Junbin obtained his B.Soc.Sci. (First Class Honours, in Sociology) from NUS in 2014. He is currently working on an ethnographic study of professional caregiving for older persons with dementia in Singapore. Research interests: medical anthropology, political economy of healthcare, body and embodiment, caregiving ethics, Foucauldian studies, and Singapore and East Asia.

Teresa TAN Sze Kai (PhD Sociology)

Teresa TAN Sze Kai

I am interested in the size, structure and spread of the network geographies of Singaporeans; and its impact on Singaporeans life chances. “Network geography” captures the geographical contexts of a person’s work, education and networking activities; as well as the daily lives of people important to them.

Liu Xi (PhD Sociology)

Liu XI

Currently a fourth-year PhD candidate, my doctoral work explores vernacular architecture and social transformation in Post-reform rural China. My research interest lies in cultural and social transformation in contemporary China, vernacular architecture and ethnography.

YANG Yi (PhD Sociology)


Completed MA (Sociology) at Peking University. My PhD dissertation looks at the relationship between social exclusion and cognitive impairment of elderly Chinese, and draws data from the Chinese Longitudinal Healthy Longevity Survey (CLHLS). Research interests: social inequality, social stratification, ageing and health, and gender studies.

June YAP (PhD CSA)

June YAP

Curator and art historian. Research interests include art history and contemporary art.

YE Xiaojun (PhD CSA)

YE Xiaojun

My current research centers on the relationship between disasters, the media and society. My dissertation reads the Wenchuan Earthquake as a media event to show how the mediated suffering simultaneously connected the outside society with the affected population and disintegrated local communities of affected areas.

Mindy Eiko TADAI (PhD Sociology)

Mindy Eiko TADAI

My research interests include maternal identity, work-life balance, and multicultural families.