Hasan Ashraf, Dr. phil.
Hasan Ashraf, Dr. phil. Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology



               ... for sometime now, my ethnographic research engages with the transnational export garment industry in Bangladesh, its everyday production practices nested in the supply chain and the global fashion industry, and the corresponding labour history and politics with a focus on the subjectivity of the garment workers and health. concurrently, i have worked with varied policy processes reflecting on garment workers' lived realities and consulted by international media on this global industry. my research concern has grown to work with urban water practices, and politics of infrastructure as lens to look at how ‘life’ undergoes continuous reorganisation. previously (2001-2007), i had conducted extensive ethnographic research in rural, coastal and urban settings in Bangladesh on range of ontologies: sexuality and rights; youth and media in urban Dhaka; violence against women and legal pluralism; religious movements; political particisation of everyday life and changes in agrarian lifeways in northern Bangladesh.



global garment production; labour politics and history; deep state and market; water practices, and politics of infrastructure


Annegret Dreher, Rita Yusuf, Hasan Ashraf, Syed A. K. Shifat Ahmed, Wei Gao, Christian Strümpell, Adrian Loerbroks, Workplace stressors and their association with hair cortisol concentrations among ready-made garment workers in Bangladesh: A cross-sectional study,

Journal of Occupational Health Volume 65, Issue1  Sptember/2023

Ashraf, Hasan (2023), Im stinkenden Rauch der Maschinen. Über Machtstrukturen eines globalen Produktionssystems. (In the stinking smoke of the machines. On the power structures of a global production system),

NETZ: Bangladesch Zeitschrift. 1/2023.

with Annegret Dreher, Rita Yusuf, Syed A. K. Shifat Ahmed, Christian Strümpell and Adrian Loerbroks (2022), Work–family conflict, financial issues and their association with self‑reported health complaints among ready‑made garment workers in Bangladesh: a cross‑sectional study, https://doi.org/10.1007/s00420-022-01942-9,

International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health (Springer Nature)

with Annegret Dreher, Rita Yusuf, Syed A. K. Shifat Ahmed, Christian Strümpell and Adrian Loerbroks (2022), Social stressors and social resources at work and their association with self-reported health complaints among ready-made garment workers in Bangladesh: a cross-sectional study, doi: https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-022-14173-x

BMC Public Health (Springer Nature),  22: 1793

Siddiqi, Dina M. and Ashraf, Hasan (2022), Pandemics Politics: Class, Gender and Stigmatized Labor in Bangladesh’s Garment Industry,

New Diversities. Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity

Ashraf, Hasan and Strümpell, Christain (2021), The Transnational Ready-Made Garment Industry in Bangladesh: Shifts and Changes, Late 1970s until Now,

Workplaces: Pasts and Presents, Omeka RSS, 29 Nov.

Christian Strümpell and Hasan Ashraf (2021), Re-configuring Labour in the Ready Made Garments Industry in Bangladesh: Up-scaling, Up-skilling and Re-masculinizing,

Mainstream, VOL LIX No 37, New Delhi

Christian Strümpell and Hasan Ashraf (2021), Of ‘nimble fingers’ and ‘jacquard’s soldiers’: Up-scaling, Up-skilling, and the Re-masculinization of Labor in Bangladesh’s Garment Industry,

TRAFO – Blog for Transregional Research

Ashraf, Hasan and Mol, Annemarie (2020), Outsides and insides: Covid-19 seen from the first floor of a house in Mirpur, Dhaka,


with Boas, I., Farbotko, C., Adams, H. et al. (2019), Climate migration myths, doi: 10.1038/s41558-019-0633-3

Nature Climate Change, 9, 901–903

With Kooy, Michelle and Warner, Jeroen (in review), Whose bodies matter? The everyday violence of waters urbanization in Dhaka, Bangladesh.,

Environment and Planning: E

Hasan Ashraf (2019) Arbeitsbedingugen in der globalen Textilfabrik: Wessen Verantwortung?!,

Fair. August 2019. Volume 33 

Ashraf, Hasan and Prentice, Rebecca (2019), Beyond Factory Safety: Labour Unions, Militant Protest, and the Accelerated Ambitions of Bangladesh’s Export Garment Industry.,

Dialectical Anthropology , Volume 43, Issue 1, pp 93–107 (F)

Ashraf, Hasan. (2018), The Threads of Time in Bangladesh's Garment Industry: Coercion, Exploitation and Resistance in a Global Workplace,

Ethnoscripts, 19(2)

Steinisch, Maria, Rita Yusuf, Jian Li, Tobias Stalder, Jos A. Bosch, Omar Rahman, Christian Strümpell, Hasan Ashraf, Joachim Fischer and Adrian Loerbroks (2014), Work stress and hair cortisol levels among workers in a Bangladeshi ready-made garment factory-Results from a cross-sectional study.,

Psychoneuroendocrinology (50): pp. 20–27

Steinisch, Maria, Rita Yusuf, Jian Li, Omar. Rahman, Hasan Ashraf, Christian Strümpell, Joachim Fischer and Adrian Loerbroks (2013), Work stress: its components and its association with self-reported health outcomes in a garment factory in Bangladesh—Findings from a cross-sectional study.,

Health & Place (24): pp. 123–130

Strümpell, Christian and Ashraf, Hasan (2011), Stress and Modern Work: Ethnographic Perspectives from Industries in Bangladesh.,

Viennese Ethnomedicine Newsletter Vol. XIII (2+3).

Ashraf, Hasan. (2009), Revisiting Feminist Negotiations in Bangladesh.,

Journal of Anthropology: Vol (14).

Ashraf, Hasan and Camelia, Suborna (2008), Dhormo and Social and Cultural Construction of Wellbeing in Bangladesh: case of tablig jamat.,

Journal of Anthropology: Vol (13).

Ashraf, Hasan (2007), Slums in Dhaka.,

 NETZ: Bangladesch Zeitschrift. 4/2007.

Ashraf, Hasan (2006), Keine Gerechtigkeit für Frauen? : Die stille Gewalt der Dorfgemeinschaft.,

NETZ: Bangladesch Zeitschrift. 2/2006.


Hasan Ashraf. (2023) an anthropological inventory of 'green transitioning' of the export garment factories in Bangladesh. 

Roundtable: Ruptured Worlds? Hope after Covid in South Asia's Garment Industry. AAA/CASCA Annual Meeting transitions, Toronto. 15.11.2023.  

Hasan Ashraf, (2023) Labouring for the fashion, the nation and the family, and its health outcome. In Youth in South Asia: strategizing life and reshaping society. Kobe College, Japan. 10-11 February 2023.

Hasan Ashraf, (2021) Chaap is not stress: Bodies and time on the export garment factory shopfloor and beyond. Panel: Feminist Political Economies in South Asia. Conf. title: Sustaining life and chanllenges of multidimensional crisis. 29th International Association For Feminist Economics (IAFFE), Quito, Ecuador. 22-25 June 2021

Hasan Ashraf, (2017) Ethnography of urban pumps: everyday water management practices beyond technocratic supply-demand ethos of groundwater governance in Dhaka. The 12th Workshop on Environment and Human Activities in South Asia: Challenges to Global Issues in Asia through with locally Existing. Nara Women’s University, Nara, Japan.  17 December 2017

Hasan Ashraf, The politics of infrastructure in Dhaka: which life matters?,

“The Value of Life: Measurement, Stakes, Implications.” The Centre for Space, Place and Society, Wageningen University and Research, Wageningen, NL. 28 - 30 June 2017

Hasan Ashraf, Market-oriented modes of governance and neoliberal subjectivity in Bangladesh Export Processing Zones (EPZs): an anthropological perspective.,

 21 European Conference on Modern South Asian Studies. Bonn University, Germany.  26 July 2010


Strümpell, Christian, & Ashraf, Hasan (2023). Uneven and Combined Development in Bangladesh’s Garment Industry: The Politics of Up-Scaling, Up-Skilling and Re-masculinizing Labour.  In C. Strümpell & M. Hoffmann (Eds.), Industrial Labour in an Unequal World. Ethnographic Perspectives on Uneven and Combined Development (pp. 201–224). Oldenbourg: De Gruyter.    

Ashraf, Hasan (2017). Beyond Building Safety: An Ethnographic Account of Health and Well-being on the Bangladesh Garment Shop Floor. In Prentice, Rebecca & Neve, Geert de (Eds.), Unmaking the Global Sweatshop. Health and Safety of the World’s Garment Workers (pp. 250–273). Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.

Siddiqi, Dina & Ashraf, Hasan (2017). Bangladesh: class, precarity and politics of care. In Baird, M., Ford, M., Hill, E., and Piper, N., (Ed) Women, Work and Care in the Asia-Pacific (pp. 118-132). New York: Routledge.  

Hassan, Mirza & Ashraf, Hasan (2006). Political Governance: Politicisation of Public Life. In IGS (Eds.), The State of Governance in Bangladesh 2006. Knowledge, Perceptions, Reality. Dhaka: Centre for Governance Studies, BRAC University


with Warner, Jeroen (2019) Flows of water, flows of people in Dhaka, a city built on sand,

A mobilities lens to the human mobility-environmental change nexus. Wageningen University and Research (WUR), The Netherlands. 6-7 June, 2019

with Warner, Jeroen (2019) Flyovers and takeovers - How land and water grab in 3D redistributes mobility in the New Dhaka,

A mobilities lens to the human mobility-environmental change nexus. 6-7 June, 2019 Wageningen University and Research (WUR), The Netherlands.

The Threads of Time in Bangladesh’s Garment Industry: Dependency and Discipline in a Global Work Place.,

St. Andrew’s University, Japan. 20 December 2017   


Strümpell, Christian and Ashraf, Hasan (2023), An anthropological-historical account of transformations and politics of skill, class, and gender in Bangladesh’s export garment industry.

Global Anthropology of Industrial Labor. Comparative approaches to crisis and transformations in South Asian and Latin American working class. Centro de Estudios e Investigaciones Laborales-CONICET, Buenos Aires, Max Weber Stiftung, and University of Hamburg 27-29 September 2023.

Hasan Ashraf & Christian Strümpell, From “Nimble Fingers” to “Sewbots”: Concentration and Automation in Bangladesh’s Global Export Garment industry, New directions in the study of work. Historical Legacies, Present Predicaments and Future Trends,

University of Toronto, Canada and re:work, Hamboldt-Universitat zu Berlin, Germany 8-10 December 2022

Hasan Ashraf, Break Free, Lose Yourself, and Release the beast within: Corporate-utopias and the making of Bangladesh’s djuice generation, Utopias in times of dystopia - Keeping up hope!,

Sapienza University of Rome, Italy. 8 June 2022

with Christian Strümpell, Uneven and Combined Development in Bangladesh: The ready-made garment industry and garment workers since the 1970s, Industrial Labour and Uneven Development, 24th – 26th March 2021.

Institute for Social and Cultural Anthropology, Universität Hamburg and Centre for Interdisciplinary Regional Studies, Martin-Luther-UniversitätHalle-Wittenberg, Germany

with Dina Siddiqi, Prisoners of the body? Class, (im)mobility and pandemic politics, Panel 2: Migrant Labour in Pandemic Times. Racialisation and Social Boundary-Making in Times of COVID-19. Organised by The ChinaWhite research team. Date: 2-4 December 2020,

University of Amsterdam

Political Economy of Dhaka Waters,

Workshop on Political Economy of Water. Department of Environmental Management. Independent University, Bangladesh (IUB). 11 July 2018 

With Rebecca Prentice (Sussex) Health, and Labour Politics in Bangladesh’s Export Garment Industry,

Labour Politics in an Age of Precarity. University of Cambridge, UK. 21- 22 April 2017.

Reimaging shujola (well-watered) Bangladesh: an awkward water crisis at the centre of Bengal Delta.,

“Imaging Bangladesh” organised by Bangladesh Studies Network (BSN) at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, NL. 15 – 16 June 2017

Labour movement and labour control in a transnational readymade garment factory in Bangladesh.,

University of Sussex, UK. 7 October 2014

Why increased safety measures alone won’t improve garment worker health in Bangladesh.,

Accounting for ‘Health’ and ‘Safety’ in the Global Garment Industry. University of Sussex, UK. 26-27 June 2014

Expert workshop: drafting a curriculum for counsellor in SRHRG,

(developing counsellor service for the garment workers in Bangladesh). University of Nijmegen, Nederlands. 12-19 September 2014

The Concept of Stress and Stress-relief in a Transcultural Perspective: An Ethno-epidemiological Study.,

 Jointly presented with Strümpell, C., Loerbroks, A. and Steinisch, M. Medical Anthropology Working Group, Department of Anthropology, Heidelberg University, Germany. 4 November 2012

Labour Resistance in Bangladesh’s Ready Made Garment Sector.,

Sixth European PhD workshop in South Asia Studies. Falsterbo Kursgård, Höllviken, Sweden. SASNET and Lund University, Sweden.  17-19 September 2012

‘Exporting Garments, Importing Stress’: The Effects of the Neoliberal Textile Production Regime on the Garment Workers’ Health in Bangladesh.,

“Frontiers of Knowledge - Health, Environment and the History of Science”. Cluster of Excellence, Heidelberg University, Germany. October 5 –October 7, 2011

The “djuice generation” in Bangladesh: Multinational corporations, youth culture and ritualized patterns of consumption.,

“Being Young in South Asia”. Heidelberg University, Germany. 23 - 25 November 2011

Transnational Industrialization and Formation of Stress amongst the Female Garment Factory Workers in Bangladesh.,

Medical Anthropology Working Group, Department of Anthropology, Heidelberg University, Germany. 4 November 2009


Rishkawala web series (2020),

Executive Producer

Een tweede leven. Hoe goed is het kopen van tweedehands kleding?,

Interview by Emilie van Kinschot, Klass Omta, Nico Schinkelhoek and Femke van Aerongen (2019, September)

amader konna (Our Daughters) Docudrama 2019,

Scientific Adviser

Gevangenis of kledingfabriek in Bangladesh? Kijkopkennis. April 11, 2019,

Interview by Emilie van Kinschot

Rondetafelgesprek over arbeidsomstandigheden in de kledingindustrie.,

Tweede Kemer, Den Haag. 10 February 2014

Rana Plaza: kroniek van een aangekondigde compensatie. Mo*,

interview by Vandoorne, S. (2015, June 12).

Jeroen Pauw in Bangladesh. Jeroen Pauw (Anchor), Paul Vloon (Director). NOS. Hilvsurm. 5 September 2014,

Scientific Adviser to the production team and the story line 

De slag om de klerewereld. VPRO, Nederlands. Three Episodes: a) Het wonder van de wegwerpmode. 2 January 2015; b) Prijzenslag in Bangladesh. 9 January 2015; c) Katoenknallers. 16 January 2015,
De textielindustrie in Bangladesh twee jaar na Rana Plaza. Mo*,

Interview by Vandoorne, S. (2015, April 20).

Gevangen in een helse fabriek. NRC handelsblad.,

Interview by Straaten, F. (2014, January 17).

Eirlijk textiel: hoe bereiken we dat? Vice Versa,

Interview by Tielens, J. (2014, April)

Geheim: waar bedrijven in Bangladesh kleding laten maken. OneWorld.,

Interview by Huijerman, A. (2014, September 5).

Ruf nach Veränderung. 24 April 2014.,

Interview with 3sat nano

Staub und Hoffnung. 24 April 2014.,

Interview with 3sat nano

“Boykott ist der falsche Ansatz”,

Interview by TVP Textilveredlung und Promotion (2013/January)

Kunden Muessen Druck Machen. Braunschweiger Zeitung.,

INterview by Chmielewski, M. (2013, May 15)

Die Schmutzwäsche der Moderiesen. Der Standard.,

Interview by Kainrath, V. (2013, May 10).

Hohes Tempo, geringer Lohn. Südhessen Morgen,

Interview by Jakob, B. (2013, February 2).

Textilkonzerne geben nach. Braunschweiger Zeitung.,

Interview by Chmielewski, M. (2013, May 15)

Die dunkle Seite des konsums. Stren (2012, December 6).,

Barth, R., Vougioukas, J., Gronwald, S., Peters, R., Reh, A., Schneyink, D., Versendaal, D. and Zerwes, C.

Agenda – Deutsche Welle. 11 December 2012,

Talk Show by Goff, B.

Brandkatastrophe sorgt für Wut auf westliche Konzerne. Tagesspiegel.,

Interview by Peters, B. and Möllhoff, C. (2012, November 26)

Textile Factories in Bangladesh – The Transnational Production of Garment.,

Work portrait by Sarah Ewald (Interviewer), Christoph Bortelo (Camera, Editing, Animation). Cluster of Excellence “Asia and Europe.” Heidelberg University. 13 December 2012   

Brand in Textilfabrik in Bangladesch. “Die Arbeitsbedingungen waren wohl furchtbar.” Süddeutsche Zeitung.,

Interview by Arnu, T. (2012, November 26)

Stressforscher im Sweatshop. Zeit Online. 3 February 2011,

Interview by Fries, M.


Organization: University of Bologna
Position: Advisory Board member

European Union’s Horizon 2020 and European Research Council (ERC) funded research project   Bottom-up Initiatives and Anti-Corruption Technologies: How Citizens use ICTs to Fight Corruption

Organization: University of Düsseldorf
Position: Advisor Member

Psychosocial Stressors and Bangladesh's Ready-Made Garment Industry

Organization: University of Wageningen and IHE Delft Institute for Water Education
Position: Member

Hydro-Social Deltas research project , Urbanising Deltas of the World programme funded by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Organization: Department of Anthropology, University of Amsterdam
Position: Member

Eating bodies fluid network



Hasan Ashraf, Dr. phil.

Associate Professor
Department of Anthropology
Jahangirnagar University, Savar, Dhaka-1342, Bangladesh.
Email: hasanashraf@juniv.edu , meethu@hotmail.com