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Ms Nandita Dutta
Ms Nandita Dutta profile picture
  • Post Graduate Teaching Assistant
  • IOE - Social Research Institute
  • UCL Institute of Education
I am a doctoral candidate in Gender and Sexuality Studies at UCL. I have a master's in Gender Studies (Distinction) from SOAS where I was a Chevening scholar. My book "F-rated: Being a Woman Filmmaker in India" was published by HarperCollins India in 2019. 
Research Summary

My doctoral research “Mapping Intimacy: The South Asian Beauty Salon in London and Production of Diasporic Space” looks at beauty salons in London run by first-generation migrant women as diasporic sites of intimacy for other first-generation migrant women from South Asia. Specifically, I am conducting an ethnography of two neighbourhood beauty salons in South-West London and North-West London respectively, run and staffed by women from Afghanistan, India, Nepal and Pakistan. The customers of these two salons are also first-generation migrant women from South Asia, mainly working-class. 

One of the two main questions that my research is trying to answer is: How do salon workers and customers make sense of the physical and emotional intimacy they share? In asking this question, my research aims to study the labour of salon workers and the intimacy that customers experience in the salon alongside each other. The other question that my research seeks to address is: What are the boundaries of this intimacy? Who is included in this intimate space and who is excluded from it? How are these boundaries mediated by religion, race and caste? The conception of intimacy used in this research grounds it in practices that generate a sense of closeness instead of being essentially attached to social units such as the couple or the family.


Dutta, N., 2021. “I Like it Clean”: Brazilian Waxing and Postfeminist Subjectivity Among South Asian Beauticians in London. Frontiers in Sociology, 6.

Public Engagement:

Not Just Beauty: Using Beauty Salons to raise awareness of gender equality among South Asian Migrant Women (See details here)



Teaching Summary

Post Graduate Teaching Assistant, Social Research Institute, UCL (2020-22)

  • Modules taught: Introduction to Sociology; Love, Intimacy and Sexuality; Sociology of Gender.

Post Graduate Teaching Assistant, Department of Geography (2022)

  • Migration and Transnationalism

Lecturer (2020-22)

  • UCL/Sutton Trust Geography Summer School

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