Class troubles: Tackling social inequality in Indian schools

This project aims to investigate whether affirmative action education policies can assist in breaking down social inequality.

Students at a school in India


It will do so by exploring the lived outcomes of India’s Right to Education Act, which requires private schools to provide free education for underprivileged children.

Based on long-term fieldwork, this project is expected to identify factors that contribute to inclusivity in private schools, and to generate fine-grained data on class contestation. Anticipated outcomes include a deeper understanding of how Indian private schools can be desegregated, new perspectives on the analysis of class globally, and insights into the relationship between the state, the private sector and education as a public good.

The project will inform Australian debates about social mobility and education as a public good.

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Project details


Australian Research Council – Discovery Early Career Researcher Award

Project team

Dr Amanda Gilbertson (University of Melbourne)


Dr Amanda Gilbertson