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David Sancho Barrera

Assistant Professor of International Studies

School of Arts & Sciences

PhD in Social Anthropology (University of Sussex, UK)

MSc in Social Research Methods (University of Sussex, UK)

MA in International Law and International Relations (Complutense University, Spain)

BA in Anthropology (University of Florida, USA)


David’s research engages with diaspora, migration, citizenship, education, youth and social mobility.


His doctoral research has engaged with socially and geographically mobile people hailing from Kerala, a South Indians state well known for its high levels of education and migration. With the support of a Leach/RAI Fellowship, his doctoral thesis is now published as a book with Routledge Press, titled Youth, class, and education in Urban India: the year that can break or make you. The book unpacks the capacities of contemporary Indian schooling to reproduce caste, class and gender inequalities, while simultaneously opening up spaces for young people and their families to appropriate emergent educational aspirations, strategies, investments, and subjectivities.


His current British Academy-funded research follows the educational flows connecting South Asia and the Arab Gulf, and how these shape the lives of young UAE-born South Asian residents in Dubai.


David has an ongoing interest in the everyday lives of those who have made Dubai [and nearby Emirates] their place of residence and work.



(2015) Youth, Class, and Education in Urban India: ‘The year that can break or make you’. London: Routledge


Peer-Reviewed Articles

(2019 forthcoming) Introduction: Constructions of the ‘educated person’ in the context of mobility, migration and globalisation. Globalisation, Societies and Education

(2019 forthcoming) Exposed to Dubai: Education and Belonging among young Indian Residents in the Gulf. Globalisation, Societies and Education

(2017) Escaping India’s culture of education: migration desires among aspiring middle-class young men. Ethnography

(2015) Ego, balance and sophistication: experiences of schooling as self-making strategies in middle class Kochi. Contributions to Indian Sociology, 49

(2015) Keeping up with the time: rebranding education and class formation in globalising India. Globalisation, Societies and Education


Book Chapters

(2013) ‘Aspirational Regimes: parental educational strategies and the new Indian youth discourse’. In Enterprise Culture in Neoliberal India: Youth, class and media (ed) Nandini Gooptu, London: Routledge



(2017) Aspirations and Future Plans among Non-national Students in Dubai. Dubai: Sheikh Mohamed Centre for Cultural Understanding (SMCCU)