Rishi Awatramani’s research employs ethnographic and comparative methods to examine the race and class politics of urban working-classes, and historical patterns of social protest. His research interests are in the fields of Race and Ethnicity, Labor and Labor Movements, and Political Sociology.
His dissertation is a study of how deindustrialization and neoliberalism transform the traditional mechanisms of organizing race and class politics among working-class Mexican-Americans in Chicago's former steel-producing neighborhoods. Drawing on extensive ethnography and archival materials, he shows how the changing political economy of the urban periphery, the decline of neighborhood civil society, and political competition between teachers and police shape working-class racial politics and collective action.
Prior to pursuing academic research, Rishi worked in community and labor organizing for more than 12 years. Rishi’s project is also supported by a Russell Sage Foundation Dissertation Research Grant and a Graduate Research Fellowship from the Alexander Grass Humanities Institute.