Dr Parthiban Muniandy

Dr Parthiban Muniandy

Contact Information

3059 Lincoln Hall

Office Hours

  • By appointment only
Teaching Assistant


I grew up in Malaysia and received my primary, secondary as well as early college education in Kuala Lumpur. During my first two years of college, I developed a strong interest in understanding the plight of migrant refugee communities who were living under very uncertain and vulnerable conditions in Malaysia, and spent time working as volunteer for Amnesty International and a local refugee rights organization. These experiences left a strong mark on my intellectual and personal pursuits, informing both my scholarship and activism in the realm of migrant rights. 

Research Interests

  • Transnational Sociology
  • Labor migration
  • Postcolonial theory
  • Critical and Global Ethnography

Research Description

My research focuses on temporary labor migration in Southeast Asia and South Asia. I am particularly interested in exploring how new regimes of migration are emerging under which 'temporary labor' migrants (guest workers, non-citizen contract workers, etc) are becoming increasingly commonplace in fast-developing societies in Asia. In my dissertation research, I look at how new and growing transnational networks of temporary labor migration impact changes upon everyday lives and practices of people in predominantly migrant urban Malaysia. I also look at how informality and informal practices become important elements that affect the lives of migrant women and men. 


  • PhD Sociology, University of Illinois
  • B.A. Sociology, University of Illinois


  • GLBL 100 Introduction to Global Studies
  • GLBL 200 Foundations of Research
  • GLBL 494 Research Methods

Selected Publications

Journal Articles

Muniandy, Parthiban Malaysia's Coming Out: Critical Cosmopolitans, Religious Politics and Democracy Asian Journal of Social Science 40 5/6 2012, p. 582-607.
Riopelle, Cameron, and Parthiban Muniandy Drones, Maps and Crescents: CBS News' Visual Construction of the Middle East Media, War and Conflict 6 2 2013, p. 153-172.
Muniandy, Parthiban, and Valeria Bonatti Are Migrants Agents of Instruments of Development? The Case of 'Temporary' Migrants in Malaysia Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 2014.


Photo of publication
Muniandy, Parthiban Politics of the Temporary: Ethnography of Migrant Life in Urban Malaysia Kuala Lumpur SIRD/Gerakbudaya 2014.

Website Articles

Photo of publication
Muniandy, Parthiban Politics of the Temporary on BFM.my Business for Malaysia BFM.my 2015.