Dr Parthiban Muniandy

Section 1


Teaching Assistant of Sociology

Contact Information

  • Address: 3059 Lincoln Hall
  • Telephone: (217)333-1950

Office Hours

  • By appointment only


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. 

Specializations / Research Interest(s)

  • 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



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

Publication Photo

Journal Articles

  • "Informality and the politics of temporariness: Ethnic migrant economies in Little Bangladesh and Little Burma in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia." International Sociology (2015): 1-18. 10 . 2015. <http://iss.sagepub.com/content/early/2015/10/01/0268580915605649.abstract>.
  • 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): <http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/1369183X.2014.907738>.
  • Riopelle, Cameron, and Parthiban Muniandy. "Drones, Maps and Crescents: CBS News' Visual Construction of the Middle East." Media, War and Conflict 6.2 (2013): 153-172.
  • Muniandy, Parthiban . "Malaysia's Coming Out: Critical Cosmopolitans, Religious Politics and Democracy." Asian Journal of Social Science 40.5/6 (2012): 582-607.

Website Articles