Professional and Biographical Information

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Ph.D., Sociology, Cornell University
M.A., Sociology, Cornell University
B.A., Psychology, Carleton College, with distinction

Research Interests

Asian America, sociology of immigration, education, work, inequality, race and gender and class intersectionality, culture. 

Pawan Dhingra is a sociologist and former curator and senior advisor of the Smithsonian Institution exhibition, Beyond Bollywood: Asian Indian Americans Shape the Nation. His most recent book is Hyper Education: Why Good Schools, Good Grades, and Good Behavior Are Not Enough (New York University Press 2020) and has been profiled on National Public Radio (NPR), Library Journal, and elsewhere, and which author Min Jin Lee has said "gets to the root of education obsessions." He is the author of the award-winning Life Behind the Lobby: Indian American Motel Owners and the American Dream (Stanford University Press, 2012), which has been profiled in NPR, the Philadelphia Inquirer, Colorlines Magazine, Wall Street Journal, and elsewhere. He also authored the award-winning Managing Multicultural Lives: Asian American Professionals and the Challenge of Multiple Identities (Stanford University Press, 2007). Professor Dhingra co-authored the review text, Asian America: Sociological and Interdisciplinary Perspectives (Polity Press, 2014)He has served as president of the board of the South Asian American Digital Archive. 

His professional service also includes having served as chair of the Asia and Asian America section of the American Sociological Association, serving on journal boards, serving as reviewer for exhibitions, book presses, foundations and journals, and other commitments. He has received various grants, fellowships, and research awards. He has spoken to community, media, and academic audiences on topics of immigration, Asian American and Indian American communities, entrepreneurship, identity, culture, race, education, and inequality. 

Professor Dhingra joined Amherst College after serving as professor and chair of sociology and professor of American studies at Tufts University, as an associate professor of sociology at Oberlin College, and as an assistant professor of sociology at Bucknell University. 

Teaching Interests

Professor Dhingra’s teaching interests include topics of Asian American studies, inequality, immigration, race, identity, and culture. He has received three teaching awards/recognitions.

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