Dr Rebecca Bowers

Dr Rebecca Bowers

Visiting Fellow

Department of Anthropology

English, Hindi
Key Expertise
India; UK

About me


Rebecca Bowers is a feminist economic anthropologist whose research interests include gendered and inter-generational experiences of inequality, financialisaton, labour informality and labour organisation.

Rebecca has undertaken fieldwork in India between 2014-2017 and more recently, digital ethnography in London during the outbreak of Covid-19. Her doctoral thesis, Gendered Economies of Extraction, explored how real estate speculation shapes intersecting forms of inequality for migrant female construction workers in Bengaluru (‘India’s Silicon Valley’) and how women work on familial projects of permanence to counter precarious urban employment and residence.

Following completion of her PhD, Rebecca has taught Economic Anthropology and Professional Development at LSE, while responding through research to the urgency of rising inequalities during the pandemic. This has entailed simultaneous work on two projects undertaking qualitative research on the effects of government responses on vulnerable populations in the UK and India.

Rebecca is a member of the Covid and Care research group at LSE, which has worked with community organisations, advice giving agencies, and citizen scientists, to illuminate the vital role played by the household and often informal networks of care during the pandemic. The group's findings place households and care networks at the centre of policy proposals for interlinking social and economic recovery. Alongside her teaching duties, Rebecca is currently writing several articles and plans to produce a monograph of her work.

Expertise Details

Gender; Informal labour; The household; Inequality; Precarity; Covid-19; Labour migration; Pragmatism

Selected publications

Journal Articles

City and Society, Special Issue, Urban Precarity: ‘In the village we don’t even have four rupees’: Maintaining rural lives in city construction sites (Forthcoming, 2021)

Global Labour Journal, Navigating the City and the Workplace: Migrant Female Construction Workers and Urban (Im)Mobilities, 2019, 10(1): 20–36

Book Chapters

‘‘It’s hard to have any mission for the future because they don’t pay’: Aspirations and realities in India's Silicon Valley’ in: Urban Asias: Essays on Futurity Past and Present, Jorvis (2017)


With L. Bear, N. Simpson, D. James et al (2020). A right to care: the social foundations of recovery from Covid-19. London School of Economics and Political Science

With L. Bear, N. Simpson, D. James et al. (2020). 'A good death' during the Covid-19 pandemic in the UK: a report on key findings and recommendations. London School of Economics and Political Science

Blog/News Articles

With J.K. Bhogal & A. Lohiya Gheewalla (2020), LSE Public Policy Blog. The Invisible Household: the right to care during Covid-19

With G. Barda, D. Graeber, S. Melia et al. (2020). Byline Times. Planet Over Profit: Coronavirus has shown us how to stop a climate disaster.

With M. Banerjee (2018). India Inc. Who are the middle class in South Asia?

South Asia@LSE Blog (2017). How can a woman do these things?

South Asia@LSE Blog (2014). Building the future? For whom? Migrant female construction workers and the capacity to aspire in Bangalore