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Profile summary

  • Research Staff
  • Lecturer in Sociology
  • Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences
  • School of Hist, Rel St, Soc, SP&C
  • Sociology
  • umut.erel

Professional biography

Lecturer in Sociology

Research interests

My research interests are in migration, ethnicity, gender and class, culture and representation empirically and theoretically. I have explored issues of intersectionality, the social construction of skill and notions of belonging in recent research projects (e.g. on Refugee Women in London’s voluntary sector and on migration and cohesion in the context of the East of England). I am interested in how these issues play out in practices of citizenship, differentiated along gender and ethnic lines. My monograph on ‘Migrant Women Transforming Citizenship (Ashgate 2009) addresses this through the lens of the life-stories of migrant women from Turkey in Britain and Germany. I am currently exploring migrant women’s mothering practices as citizenship practices in their own right and with respect to shaping their children’s ethnic, cultural, political identities and modes of citizenship, based on two pieces of empirical research on European mothers in London (2011) and Polish, Turkish and Kurdish mothers and children in London (2008).

PhD supervision

I am currently co-supervising (with Prof Jef Huysmans) Khaled Alkhatib’s PhD on Islamization and Integration - Muslim Communities in Berlin and London.

I welcome applications of potential PhD students in the areas of my research interests and more generally in the areas of gender and migration, citizenship, identities.

Completed PhDs

Hilal Alkan Zeybek on Enacting Citizenship: Practices of Intimacy and Gift-Giving in Turkey.


2009: Migrant Women Transforming Citizenship. Aldershot: Ashgate.

Journal articles

forthcoming: Kurdish migrant mothers in London enacting citizenship, in Citizenship Studies, Special issue on Reproducing Citizenship.

2012: Co-editor with Fiona Williams and Deborah Brennan of a Special Issue of Social Politics on ‘Transnational Care: Changing Formations of Citizenship, Family and Generation’, vol 19 (1), March 2012.

2012: Co-editor with Helma Lutz of a Special Issue of European Journal of Women’s Studies on ‘Gender and Transnationalism’, November 2012 19 (4).

2012: ‘Gendering Transnational Cultural Capital’, Special Issue on Gender and Transnationalism of European Journal of Women’s Studies, November 2012.

2012: ‘Making Migrant Women Visible’ Special issue of Cahiers du Genre on Mobilizing Migrant Women in Europe 2012, 51 (135-154).

2011: Complex belongings: Racialization and migration in a small English city, Ethnic and Racial Studies, Ethnic and Racial Studies (Nov 2011)  vol 34 (12) pp. 2048-2068.

2011: ‘Migrant Mothers as Citizens’, Citizenship Studies, (Nov 2011)vol 15 (6-7) pp. 695-709.

2010: ‘Migrating Cultural Capital: Bourdieu in Migration StudiesSociology 2010 vol. 44:4 (642-660).

2007: Constructing Meaningful Lives: Biographical Methods in Research on Migrant Women, Sociological Research Online, Volume 12, Issue 4 (reprinted in: Reprinted in: Life Story Research, edited by Barbara Harrison, Sage: 2008.

Book chapters

2012: ’Migrant Mothers Transmitting and Transforming Ethnic Identities’ in Bertram, H. (ed.) "Familie, Bindung und Care", Opladen: Verlag Barbara Budrich.

2010: ‘Migrant Women Challenging Stereotypical Views on Femininities and Family’ in Gill, R. and Scharff, C.M. (eds.) New Femininities:Postfeminism, neoliberalism and subjectivity (Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan).

2010: with Jin Haritaworn, Encarnación Gutiérrez Rodríguez, Christian Klesse: On the Depoliticisation of Intersectionality Talk. Conceptualising Multiple Oppressions in Critical Sexuality Studies. In: Taylor, Yvette; Hines, Sally, Casey, Mark E. (eds.) Theorizing Intersectionality and Sexuality. Palgrave Macmillan.

2008: Hickman, Crowley and Mai with Erel, U. and Institute for Conflict Resolution: Rhythms and Realities of Everyday life. Improving our Understanding of Migration and Social Cohesion in the UK.

2007: Transnationale Migration, Intime Beziehungen und BürgerInnenrechte. In: Hartmann, Jutta / Klesse, Christian / Wagenknecht, Peter / Fritzsche, Bettina / Hackmann, Kristina (eds.) Eine Einführung Heteronormativität. Empirische Studien zu Heterosexualität als gesellschaftlichem Machtverhältnis. Vs Verlag.

Teaching interests

I chair the postgraduate module on Ethnography (D844) and am a module team member on Sociology and Society (DD201), I have contributed to DD206. Currently I am postgraduate coordinator in the Sociology Department.

Research Activity

Research groups

NameTypeParent Unit
Centre for Citizenship, Identifies and Governance (CCIG)CentreFaculty of Social Sciences


Understanding the contemporary race–migration nexus (2016)
Erel, Umut; Murji, Karim and Nahaboo, Zaki
Ethnic and Racial Studies, 39(8) (pp. 1339-1360)
Research note: black feminist theory for participatory theatre with migrant mothers (2014-11-01)
Erel, Umut and Reynolds, Tracey
Feminist Review, 108(1) (pp. 106-111)
Kurdish migrant mothers in London enacting citizenship (2013-12-01)
Erel, Umut
Citizenship Studies, 17(8) (pp. 970-984)
Gender and transnationalism (Editorial) (2012-11-31)
Erel, Umut and Lutz, Helma
European Journal of Women's Studies, 19, Article 1(4) (pp. 409-412)
Engendering transnational space: migrant mothers as cultural currency speculators (2012-11)
Erel, Umut
European Journal of Women's Studies, 19(4) (pp. 460-474)
Complex belongings: racialization and migration in a small English city (2011-12)
Erel, Umut
Ethnic and Racial Studies, 34(12) (pp. 2048-2068)
Reframing migrant mothers as citizens (2011-10)
Erel, Umut
Citizenship Studies, 15(6-7) (pp. 695-709)
Rendre visible l'activisme des femmes migrantes (2011)
Erel, Umut
Cahiers du Genre, 51 (pp. 135-154)
Migrating cultural capital: Bourdieu in migration studies (2010-08-01)
Erel, Umut
Sociology, 44(4) (pp. 642-660)
Constructing meaningful lives: Biographical methods in research on migrant women (2008)
Erel, Umut
Sociological Research Online, 12(4)
Racism and anti-racism in Europe: a critical analysis of concepts and frameworks (2007-09)
Erel, Umut
Transfer, 13(3) (pp. 359-375)
Migrant women transforming citizenship (2009-06)
Erel, Umut
Studies in Migration and Diaspora
ISBN : 978-0-7546-7494-8 | Publisher : Ashgate | Published : Aldershot
Thinking migrant capitals intersectionally: using a biographical approach (2015-03-01)
Erel, Umut
In: Ryan, Louise; Erel, Umut and D'Angelo, Alessio eds. Migrant Capital Networks, Identities and Strategies . Migration, Diasporas and Citizenship (pp. 18-32)
ISBN : 9781137348791 | Publisher : Palgrave | Published : Houndmills
'Troubling' or 'ordinary'? Children's views on migration and intergenerational ethnic identities (2013)
Erel, Umut
In: Ribbens McCarthy, Jane; Hooper, Carol-Ann and Gillies, Val eds. Family Troubles? Exploring Changes and Challenges in the Family Lives of Children and Young People (pp. 199-208)
ISBN : 9781447304432 | Publisher : The Policy Press | Published : Bristol
Migrant Mothers Transmitting and Transforming Ethnic Identities (2011-06)
Erel, U.
In: Bertram, Hans and Ehlert, Nancy eds. Familie, Bindung und Care (pp. 321-328)
ISBN : 9783866493919 | Publisher : Budrich
On the depoliticisation of intersectionality talk: conceptualising multiple oppressions in critical sexuality studies (2010-11-24)
Erel , Umut; Haritaworn, Jin; Rodríguez , Encarnación Gutiérrez and Klesse, Christian
In: Taylor, Yvette; Hines, Sally and Casey, Mark E. eds. Theorizing Intersectionality and Sexuality (pp. 56-77)
ISBN : 978-0-230-22930-3 | Publisher : Palgrave Macmillan | Published : Basingstoke
Migrant women challenging stereotypical views on femininities and family (2010)
Erel, Umut
In: Gill, Ros and Scharff, Christina eds. New Femininities: Postfeminism, Neoliberalism and Subjectivity
ISBN : 9780230223349 | Publisher : Palgrave Macmillan | Published : Basingstoke, UK
On the depoliticisation of intersectionality talk: Conceptualising multiple oppressions in critical sexuality studies (2008)
Erel, Umut; Haritaworn, Jin; Rodríguez, Encarnación Gutiérrez and Klesse, Christian
In: Kuntsman, Adi and Esperanza, Miyake eds. Out of place: Interrogating silences in queerness/raciality (pp. 265-292)
ISBN : 978-0-9553586-4-7 | Publisher : Raw Nerve Book | Published : New York
Transnationale Migration, intime Beziehungen und BürgerInnenrechte (2007)
Erel, Umut
In: Hartmann, Jutta; Klesse, Christian; Wagenknecht, Peter; Fritzsche, Bettina and Hackmann, Kristina eds. Heteronormativität. Empirische Studien zu Geschlecht, Sexualität und Macht - eine Einführung (pp. 251-267)
ISBN : 978-3-531-14611-9 | Publisher : Vs Verlag
Intersektionalität oder Simultaneität?! - Zur Verschränkung und Gleichzeitigkeit mehrfacher Machtverhältnisse - Eine Einführung (2007)
Erel, Umut; Haritaworn, Jinthana; Rodríguez, Encarnación Gutiérrez and Klesse, Christian
In: Hartmann, Jutta; Klesse, Christian; Wagenknecht, Peter; Fritzsche, Bettina and Hackmann, Kristina eds. Heteronormativität. Empirische Studien zu Geschlecht, Sexualität und Macht - eine Einführung (pp. 239-250)
ISBN : 978-3-531-14611-9 | Publisher : Vs Verlag
Migrantinnen zwischen Anerkennung und Abqualifikation (Migrant Women between Recognition and De-skilling) (2004)
Erel, Umut
In: Steyerl, Hito and Gutiérrez Rodríguez, Encarnación eds. Spricht die Subalterne deutsch? Migration und postkoloniale Kritik (Does the subaltern speak German? Migration and postcolonial criticism) (pp. 108-128)
ISBN : 9783897714250 | Publisher : Unrast Verlag | Published : Münster, Germany
Geschlecht, migration und bürgerschaft (Gender, migration and citizenship) (2004)
Erel, Umut
In: Roß, Bettina ed. Migration, Geschlecht und Staatsbuergerschaft: Perspektiven für eine antirassistische und feministische Politik und Politikwissenschaft (Migration, Gender and citizenship: Prospects for an anti-racist and feminist politics and political science). Politik und Geschlecht (16) (pp. 179-188)
ISBN : 9783810040787 | Publisher : VS Verlag/GWV Fachverlage GmbH (Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften) | Published : Wiesbaden, Germany
Paradigmen Kultureller Differenz und Hybriditaet (2004)
Erel, Umut
In: Sökefeld, Martin ed. Jenseits des Paradigmas kultureller Differenz: Neue Perspektiven auf Einwanderer aus der Türkei. Kultur und soziale praxis (pp. 35-51)
ISBN : 9783899422290 | Publisher : Transcript Verlag | Published : Bielefeld, Germany
Die Kraft der Schwachen? Soziales Kapital und Migration (2004)
Erel, Umut
In: Castro del Mar, Maria and Clayton, Dmitria eds. Migration, Gender, Arbeitsmarkt. Neue Beiträge zu Frauen und Globalisierung Konigsstein (pp. 154-185)
ISBN : 3897411261 | Publisher : Ulrike Helmer Verlag | Published : Sulzbach/Taunus
Migrant Capital: Networks, Identities and Strategies (2015-03-01)
Ryan, Louise; Erel, Umut and D'Angelo, Alessio eds.
Migration, Diasporas and Citizenship
ISBN : 9781137348791 | Publisher : Palgrave Macmillan | Published : Houndmills