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Developing links in international research cooperation

Renee Luthra visited Freie Universität Berlin as part of the Research Alumni Program

Mar 31, 2021

Prof. Renee Luthra

Prof. Renee Luthra
Image Credit: private

In our International Portrait series, we introduce you to people who share their stories with us and reveal diverse perspectives on research, studying abroad and everyday university life.

This week, we are meeting professor Renee Luthra who tells us about her experiences as a participant of the Freie Universität Research Alumni Program

My name is Renee Luthra and I am Professor of Sociology at the University of Essex in the United Kingdom. I was fortunate enough to be awarded a fellowship from the FU Berlin Program for Advanced German and European Studies in 2008-2009. During that time I used the German Mikrozensus to write my PhD examining the educational and labour market outcomes of the children of immigrants for my PhD, a research area where I am still actively working and one that has become even more relevant in the past decade.

I had long planned to return to Germany during my sabbatical in order to begin a new mixed methods project on the educational choices of immigrant families in Germany, the UK and the USA. In this research, I am particularly interested in the way that immigrants make sense of their children’s educational transitions and outcomes in light of their own frame of reference, status seeking, and expectations. I was very pleased and honoured to be awarded a Freie Universität Research Alumni Program to undertake this work.

Unfortunately, the situation with Covid-19 has put a halt to my plans to conduct introductory fieldwork and pilot interviews. However, I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know more about the excellent research conducted at the Freie Universität Institute for Sociology (IfS), in particular their work on social reproduction, which is very relevant to my topic. Moreover I am also keen to continue to develop links between the Institute and the ESRC Research Centre on Micro-Social Change (MiSoC), where I am currently assistant director. We have invited FU staff to attend our research seminars online – a benefit of the current situation – and hope to organise a networking meeting between IfS and MiSoC later in the spring.

If you like to share your story with us, email us at news@international.fu-berlin.de