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Professor Peggy Froerer
Professor of Anthropology

Marie Jahoda 224


I found my way into anthropology after studying politics, completing my PhD in Social Anthropology at the London School of Economics in 2002. My doctoral research on the emergence of Hindu nationalism within adivasi communities in central India became the subject of my first book, Religious Division and Social Conflict. I joined Brunel’s Anthropology department in 2004, following postdoctoral work on the inculcation of nationalist ideologies in educational settings. Since then, I have returned regularly to India to pursue research on education, learning and schooling; childhood and youth; poverty and development; and inequality and social mobility. My second book, Futures in Flux: Education, Aspiration and Social Mobility in Rural India, considers how marginalized young people’s differentiated engagement with school education articulates with their livelihood options and aspirations for a better future. I have also been co-Investigator on a collaborative, multi-regional research project (ESRC-DfID, 2016-2018) which examines education systems, aspiration and learning outcomes in remote rural areas of India, Lesotho and Laos. I have now started a new project on educational inequalities in the UK, with a focus on the role that education plays in the (re)production of class privilege.

I have directed an ethnographic film (Village Lives, Distant Powers; produced by Margaret Dickinson), which is based on my research on development, the state and corruption in central India.


  • PhD Anthropology (LSE)
  • MSc Anthropology (LSE)
  • MA Political Science (Jawaharlal Nehru University)
  • BA Political Science (University of Utah)

Newest selected publications

Ansell, N., Froerer, P. and Huijsmans, R. (2022) 'Young People’s Aspirations in an Uncertain World: Taking Control of the Future?'. Sociological Research Online, 27 (4). pp. 795 - 802. ISSN: 1360-7804 Open Access Link

Journal article

Froerer, P., Ansell, N. and Huijsmans, R. (2022) 'Sacrifice, suffering and hope: education, aspiration and young people’s affective orientations to the future'. Ethnography and Education, 17 (3). pp. 179 - 185. ISSN: 1745-7823 Open Access Link

Journal article

Froerer, P. and Dost, A. (2021) 'Education, Aspiration and aage badhna: The Role of Schooling in Facilitating ‘Forward Movement’ in Rural Chhattisgarh, India'. European Journal of Development Research, 33 (1). pp. 109 - 129. ISSN: 0957-8811 Open Access Link

Journal article

Froerer, P. (2021) 'Poverty and Education', in Allen, T. and Thomas, A. (eds.) Poverty and Development in the 21st Century. Oxford : Oxford University Press. pp. 145 - 165. ISBN 13: 978-0-19-956324-1.

Book chapter

Ansell, N., Froerer, P., Huijsmans, R., Dungey, C., Dost, A. and Piti. (2020) 'Educating 'surplus population': uses and abuses of aspiration in the rural peripheries of a globalising world'. Fennia - International Journal of Geography, 198 (1-2). pp. 17 - 38. ISSN: 0015-0010 Open Access Link

Journal article
More publications(25)