July 10, 2023
Dr. Satarupa Dasgupta, assistant professor of applied communication, is one of only four recipients of the 2023 Organization of Feminist Research on Gender and Communication Grant for her project on the intersectionality of stigma and its impact on healthcare seeking behavior among brothel-based and transient sex workers in India.
“Research on power, agency, decision-making and contestation over resources in sex work is an essential part of feminist scholarship. The proposed study can provide a more detailed interrogation of the gendered hegemony of sex work spaces and contribute new knowledge about power and agency in the broader socio-cultural and environmental landscape of sex work,” said Dasgupta. “I am very happy that I received this grant as it will enable me to conduct my research on a hyper-marginalized group and underserved population—the non-brothel-based sex workers, a section of whom are transgender individuals.”
There are few studies on the impact of variations in the socio-spatial settings of sex work, and gendered visibility and mobility, on stigmatization in sex work and the sex workers’ resource access and service uptake. This grant will help to explore a unique aspect of non-brothel-based sex work. The results of this study can show how sex work landscape can be used to optimize support services availability, reduce the vulnerability to violence, and manage the wellbeing of the transient commercial sex workers.
The OFRGC grants assist feminist scholars who are completing research or creative projects that privilege and advance understandings about the intersectionality and complexity defining women’s lives. The work being conducted broadly paves the path about women and gender, offering insights to the challenges women face in light of intersecting identities as well as favoring the diverse voices, experiences, discourses, performances and lives of women.
This is an award historically given to scholars at research-intensive institutions, which speaks to the caliber of research being conducted at Ramapo, a public liberal arts college.
Dasgupta looks forward to continuing her research, which started with funding received from James W. Carey Urban Communication Grant funded by the Urban Communication Foundation and the International Communication Association in 2022. The OFRGC grant also provides the opportunity to secure Ramapo student research assistants. Faculty-student mentorship is a hallmark of a Ramapo College education. Dasgupta has served as a mentor to Ramapo students who presented research at a number of conferences, including Northeast Regional Undergraduate Research, Scholarly, and Creative Activity Conference (COPLAC,) New Jersey Women and Gender Studies Consortium Undergraduate Research Colloquium, New Jersey Communication Association annual conference, and New York Communication Association.
To learn more about Dr. Satarupa Dasgupta and keep up with her scholarship and service, follow her on LinkedIn. Visit the School of Contemporary Arts to learn more about majoring in communication and about the work faculty, students, and alum are producing.