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Dr Suryakant Sulochana Waghmore

Professor , Mumbai campus

Centre for Social Justice and Governance , School of Social Work - Mumbai Campus, School of Research Methodology

M.A. (TISS), Ph.D. (Edinburgh)

Dr. Waghmore has B.A in Political Science, History and Economics from Karnataka University (1999) and M.A in Community Development  from TISS (2001). He has been on the faculty of TISS since 2004. He completed his PhD in Sociology as a Commonwealth Scholar from University of Edinburgh (2010). He has held visiting affiliations at Centre for South Asia - Stanford University; School of Humanities - Hyderabad Central University; Centre for Modern Indian Studies - Univeristy of Göttingen.

Dr. Waghmore is currently on lien from TISS. He is Associate Professor of Sociology at the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology - Bombay (suryakant@hss.iitb.ac.in).


My research has encompassed a mixed method approach to study social exclusion, politics at margins, policy processes and state-civil society relations. I have been using ethnography, with other qualitative research methods and descriptive statistics to underline how social exclusion operates in South Asian societies. Ethnography has helped me keep my research outcomes nuanced. For instance while studying caste, I have focused on aspects of emotions – humour and anger to theorise caste better. This has helped me frame broader theoretical arguments on vernacular modernity in Indian subcontinent.

On the other hand I have also done policy relevant research that has helped corporations and state bodies. I recently completed a research on Katkaris, one of the most vulnerable tribal groups in Maharashtra. While working with govt. and non-government development agencies over the years, I closely observed the influence of cultural politics on development processes and how state and non-state actors converge and disperse to institutionalize social exclusions. This interface of culture, state and social exclusion processes has continued to be a major area of my research interest.

My research also explores social movements of  traditionally marginalised groups and their attempts of achieving genuine civility and democracy in the Indian context. Current research interest includes a focus on changing forms of caste etiquette in modern India.


  • From the Margins to the Mainstream: Institutionalising Minorities in South Asia, Co-edited with Hugo Goringe and Roger Jeffery. Sage (2015)
  • Civility against Caste: Dalit Politics and Citizenship in Western India, Sage (2013)   

Recent Papers

    • Beyond Depoliticisation? Caste, NGOs and Dalit Land Rights in Maharahstra, India. Development and Change. 2012. Vol. 42 (6).
    • Sanrachnatmak Hinsa Aur Swasthya ke Pariched (with Qudsiya Contractor) in Imrana Qader (ed.) Dalit Mahilaon ka Swasthya evam Adhikar. 2012, pp. 260-271, Penguin Publications, New Delhi [In Hindi]

Book Reviews

  • The Caste Question: Dalits and Politics of Modern India, Contributions to Indian Sociology, 2010.
    Vol 44, No.3, Pp 440-443.
  • Globalising Social Justice, Social Movement Studies. 2011. Vol. 10 (4).
  • The Problem of Caste. Satish Deshpande, ed. Contributions to Indian Sociology, 2015. Vol. 49. Pp 413-416.
  • Withering Caste in Urban Locales? (Sponsored by ICSSR 2015-2017)
  • Marginal Populations, Social Mobilisation and Development,  UKIERI Thematic Collaboration with colleagues from TISS and University of Edinburgh (Funded by British Council, 2012 - 2016)
  • Political Economy of Social Welfare; Political Economy of Dalit Development; Introduction to Social Theories; Caste, State and Politics in South Asia (Postgraduate –TISS)
  • Social Inequalities and Social Movements in India, CeMIS, University of Göttingen (2015)  
  • Guest lecturer in Religion and Society and Politics of Identity in South Asia(Undergraduate Honours, University of Edinburgh 2008 -2010)

Email: suryakant[at]tiss[dot]edu