Amen Jaffer is a sociologist trained in urban ethnography whose teaching, research and advising interests lie in the fields of religion, urban studies, sociality, everyday life, difference and social control, social theory, political economy of waste and recycling, and the politics of space and infrastructure.
He is currently working on three projects. One is a comparative ethnography of urban citizenship in low-income neighborhoods of Lahore which explores poor residents’ engagements with the infrastructures of their neighborhoods as practices of forging political communities.The second project is a book manuscript that explores practices of sociality in South Asian Sufi shrines. It focuses on ordinary practices in these spaces – conversations, humour, collective preparation and consumption of food and drugs, etc – to demonstrate how an everyday spirituality is constructed through routine practices in these spaces. The third project, for which he is currently conducting fieldwork, investigates the social organization of the waste and recycling economy in Lahore by focusing on scrap yards run by Afghan refugees and jhuggi settlements of low-caste nomadic communities.