Accessibility statement

Dr Reva Yunus



I am a Lecturer in Education and Social Justice. I joined the Department of Education in 2021. I completed my PhD in Sociology in 2018 at the University of Warwick and was funded by the Chancellor’s International Scholarship. In 2020 I worked as an ICSSR (Indian Council of Social Science Research) Postdoctoral Fellow at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai. Before joining TISS I worked as Assistant Professor at the Azim Premji University in India. My research focuses on the impact of broader social, political and economic shifts on economically disadvantaged young people’s experience of work and education, negotiation of mobility and transitions to ‘adulthood’ in India and England.

My background is quite interdisciplinary. I did my BSc in Mathematics, Physics and Computer Science and MSc in Physics (Devi Ahilya University, Indore) before moving to the field of Education with a MA at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai. It was my involvement in the social sector that acted as catalyst and support for this transition. Alongside my university education I developed my own project to teach urban underprivileged children. Later I worked with the Self-Employed Women’s Association-Madhya Pradesh and The Prajnay Trust, Chennai on women’s and workers’ rights, and with Kishore Bharati and Eklavya on the right to education and science curriculum, respectively.

I teach undergraduate and master’s modules relating to sociology of education, political economy of education, childhood and youth, research methods and citizenship education. In addition, I supervise undergraduate, postgraduate taught and PhD students.



My research focuses on the impact of economic change and marginalisation, especially that of increasingly precarious work on families and young people’s education, work and strategies of mobility in urban India and England. I am particularly interested in how young people negotiate change, vulnerability and socioeconomic exclusion through strategies like political and social networking, combining education and paid work and various practices of (dis)engagement from existing institutions. In understanding economic change I also attend to its interplay with social, institutional and political shifts and patterns of marginalisation. My work also offers a critical engagement with development and policy discourses around growth, poverty and education and their interrelationships.

I am a qualitative researcher, and my work spans the sociology of education, sociology of urban marginalisation, sociology of childhood and youth and economic sociology. Currently, alongside investigating the impact of precarity and poverty in post-industrial South Yorkshire (Sheffield City Region), I am also looking at young people’s gendered and classed experiences of learning English and online learning in South India.

My long-term theoretical interests include rethinking agency in relation to coercive forces; shifts in the nature of the state and its relationship with global capital; and social class inequalities in the context of precarious work.

Research group(s)

External activities


I am a member of:

Invited talks and conferences

I have presented my work at many international conferences such as the European Conference on South Asian Studies, British Sociological Association annual conference, and the Gender and Education Association Biennial Conference. I have also been invited to record podcasts on my research and teaching. My most recent talk and podcast deal with the impact of lockdowns on low and middle income countries (LMICs), with a focus on girls’ education and online learning.

I am an Associate Editor of the British Educational Research Journal. I also review for journals like, Childhood, The Sociological Review and Third World Thematics. I have also been invited as a panellist to discuss questions of education, international development and unequal childhoods at the launch of books like Annie McCarthy’s Children and NGOs in India: Development as Storytelling and Performance; and Pandemic Response and the Cost of Lockdowns edited by Peter Sutoris, Sinéad Murphy, Aleida Mendes Borges and Yossi Nehushtan. I am part of a group of activists and scholars who collaboratively developed a set of recommendations for pandemic response in Low and Middle Income Countries based on presentations at a conference at King’s College London to discuss the impact of Covid restrictions in LMICs in April 2023.

My monograph, ‘Labour Class’ Children’s Schooling in India: A Sociological Account (Routledge) will be available to order soon.

Contact details

Department of Education
University of York
YO10 5DD

Tel: +44(0)1904 328941