Professor Panicker joined the Sociology faculty in August 2009. Ajay graduated with his PhD in Sociology in May 2008from University of Miami, Florida, where he wrote a dissertation titled “Counter-Hegemonic Collective Action and the Politics of Civil Society: The Case of a Social Movement in Kerala, India, in the Context of Neoliberal Globalization.” Ajay has a wide range of research and teaching interests – political economy, globalization and development, social movements, social theory, and inequality. A number of his ongoing research projects interrogate the nature of political economic transition in the developing world, particularly South Asia. He is developing a project proposal to study the role of micro-finance in labor empowerment in Kerala, India.
He currently teaches Social Inequality (SOC201) and Race and Ethnicity (SOC268). In the future, he will be designing and teaching courses in areas such as Social Movements, Globalization, and Environmental Sociology. Ajay is also associated with the Center for Research on Immigrant Workers in Minnesota. In collaboration with Drs. Philion and Greider, and faculty members from Political Science and Community Studies departments, Ajay received a mini-Diversity grant from MnSCU to develop a research program documenting life experiences of immigrants in Central Minnesota.