Amen Jaffer is a sociologist trained in urban ethnography with a PhD in Sociology from the New School for Social Research. his teaching and research interests lie in the Sociology and Anthropology of religion, social interaction, urban communities and networks, difference and social control, social theory and the politics of space and infrastructure.
He is currently working on two projects. One is a a comparative ethnography of urban citizenship in low-income neighborhoods of Lahore which looks at poor residents'engagements with the infrastructures of their neighborhoods as acts of creating political communities. In collectively constructing sewage drains or forcing the state to fix gas supply lines, to give two examples, residents actively create and shape not only space but also their relationships with each other and the Pakistani state.
The other project is a book manuscript that explores the sociability of diverse communities in the space of Sufi shrines in South Asia. He argues that the unique experience of time in this religious institution allows for the emergence of a particular sociability that cuts across caste, religion, and to an extent, class divides in South Asian society. These shrines thus offer a unique model for relating to the other that in some ways goes beyond liberal tolerance.