. .

Researcher for London: Harpreet Kaur Cholia, M.A.

Harpreet Kaur Cholia is currently the London researcher for the ERC Starting Grant Project "New Migrant Socialities: Ethnic Club Cultures in Europe" and a doctoral candidate in the Faculty of Social Sciences at Goethe University Frankfurt. She holds a BA in German and European Studies from Queen Mary University of London, and received an MA in Anglo-German Cultural Relations from the same institution. In her PhD research she is exploring how young British Asian women manage social networks through the use of urban space in London. Her research interests include: Postcolonialism, South Asian Diaspora, Race and Gender, Racism, Urban Sociology and Space.



WORKING TITLE: "Young British-Asian Women in London: management of multiple social networks through uses of urban space."

This research focuses on a group of women who belong to the heterogeneous category of ‘British Asian’, and on how these young women use (re) shape and (re) appropriate urban city spaces in order to maintain and manage different, and at times, antagonistic social networks and relationships. The work also aims to consider how these group of women identify as British Asian women and seeks to investigate whether the imposed dichotomy of being caught between tradition and modernity can still be justified at a time when many British Asian women are becoming more educated, finding career success and being able to make critical lifestyle decisions on their own. This thesis aims to counter the social science literature’s heavy bias put on cultural identifications and instead concentrates more on the daily practices of women by illuminating the different negotiation processes that women engage in. Focusing on leisure practices, a sphere of voluntary action, notions of self-determination can be analysed. By concentrating on women’s engagements in different spheres of their daily lives across multiple spaces across the global city context of London, it will help open up a further understanding of the daily life realities of racialized women who belong to minoritised ethnic groups. Carrying out a spatial analysis and considering processes of racialization and their inscription in different urban spaces is an important contribution within spatial thinking and the consideration of the dialectical relationships between spatiality, issues of agency and subjectivity, illuminates the complex relations that are embedded in different urban city spaces. More importantly, the dissertation aims to explore the city context and urban socialities to help broaden discussions on changing cultural identities and alleged social conflicts through gendered and racialized everyday practices, thus opening up new perspectives on cultural and social realities of second and third generation racialized migrants in Europe.


Papers given


“Our Money is Just as Good as Theirs!”
British Asian Clubbing. Staking new claims and (re-) shaping urban public spaces in London

Harpreet Cholia
Final Conference "New Post-Migrant Socialities. Rethinking Urban Leisure Publics in the Context of Diversity and Dominance"
Goethe University Frankfurt, Frankfurt am Main
January 24 - 26, 2013
Download presentation as PDF-file


Revisiting the Crisis of Representation. Decolonizing Participant Observation
Harpreet K. Cholia (co-presented with Vanessa Thompson)
Methodenkritik, (Be-)Deutungsansprüche in qualitativer Forschung, Frankfurt, 04.-05.05.2012


“Moving on up… and around the city": a journey through the British Asian club scenes in London
Harpreet K. Cholia
Annual Conference of the Görres Society, Trier, Germany, 26.09.2011

"Moving on up": the South Asian march from the suburbs to "the city"
Harpreet K. Cholia
RGS-IBG Annual International Conference 2011, London, 02.09.2011

Decolonising participant observation. Writing one’s privilege – some remarks on the ongoing "crisis of representation"
Harpreet K. Cholia (co-presented with Vanessa Eileen Thompson)
Colonial Legacies, Postcolonial Contestations – Decolonizing The Social Sciences and the Humanities, International Graduate Conference, Goethe University Frankfurt, Frankfurt am Main, 16.-18.06.2011


"Moving on up": the South Asian public's creation and influence over public spaces
Harpreet K. Cholia
11th EASA Biennial Conference, Maynooth, Ireland, 24.-27.08.2010

"Moving on up": South Asian clubbing in London
Harpreet K. Cholia
ESF Explanatory Workshop "Postmigrant Youth Scenes in Urban Europe", Goethe University Frankfurt, Frankfurt am Main, 01-04.07.2010

Introducing ERC Project: New Migrant Socialities – British Asian Clubbing in London
Harpreet K. Cholia
South Asian Families, Transnationalism. Gender and the Life Course, Sussex, 19.03.2010