Maruf Lutfur

Contact image

PhD Student

Institute of Development Research and Development Policy
Ruhr-University Bochum
Universitätsstr. 105, Room 2.23 / 2.24 / 2.27 / 2.32
44789 Bochum

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Phone: +49-(0)234 / 32-29463

Fax: +49-(0)234 / 32-14-294

Download information as: vCard

Current Project

Exploring the Socio-Cultural Impact of Migration: An Ethnographic Study of Migrant Workers from Bangladesh to the Gulf States.

How do we understand the mobility of people and the transformations brought by the mobility to the lives of migrants and non-migrants? Time and space determine the varied causes and types of migration, and thus the effects of migration. Most debates about the migration privilege the economic perspectives and the north-south transmigrants at the cost of social and ideological dimensions as well as the south-south migration and hardly include temporary migrant workers in the discourses. Against this backdrop, this project explores, through an ethnographic methodological approach, the increasing effects of international migration in transforming the social and cultural life of migrants and their sending communities in rural Bangladesh. It is argued that migrants could be better understood as ‘catalyst for social change’ in which actions are conceptualized as part of a broader social system based on embodied knowledge. Returned Bangladeshi temporary migrant workers from the Gulf states, migrants’ families, and communities of Bangladeshi short term workers residing in the Gulf region are at the center of this study. The subjective experiences of individual migrants and how those experiences are constructed by and in turn construct migrants’ sense and politics of identity and belonging are scrutinized. The study provides the dynamics of (re)construction processes and the role that trajectories play in altering the shape of identity as well as belongings that portray experiences of individual migrants from Bangladesh to the Gulf. Of special interest in this context is the increased significance of religion. Thus, this research expects to offer new perspectives on the ways in which migration, transformations of citizenship and political Islam are interlinked. The narratives of migrants presented in this study open up new avenues for the readers to reflect on the volatility of belonging and the issues that constitute mobility exciting for migrants. Furthermore, it provides new areas for policy and research to draw attention more strongly to the insights of socio-cultural effects of migration.

Keywords: Migration; Socio-Cultural Impacts; Identity; Belonging; Bangladeshi temporary migrant workers; Religion

Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Eva Gerharz


Research Interests

  • Socio-Cultural Impact of Migration
  • Rural Development and Rural Livelihoods
  • Politics of Labour Migration
  • Labour Rights
  • Social Communication
  • Social Science Methodology

Conference, Training and Workshop

  • Participated in the workshop ‘The idea of Bangladesh’, organized by Bangladesh Studies Network, at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherland (15-16 June 2017)
  • Participated in the conference “Cross-Movement Mobilization” organized by the Institute for Social Movements, Ruhr University Bochum, Germany (5-7 April 2017)
  • Presented the paper “Stories of Returned Migrants: Renegotiating the sense of Belonging Migration from Bangladesh to the Gulf” at the 4th Conference on Bengal Related Studies, at Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg, Halle (28-30 October 2016)
  • Presented the poster “Are Migrants Catalyst for Social Change? Travel of Social Remittances and Transformation in Rural Bangladesh” poster presented in a conference on 5th PhD Conference on International Development at University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK (5-6 September 2016)
  • Presented the paper “Renegotiating the sense of Belonging Migration from Bangladesh to the Gulf” at the 24th European Conference on South Asian Studies (ECSAS)at the University of Warsaw, Poland (27-30 July 2016)
  • Participated in the workshop “Conflict Transformation-Towards promotion of peace and social justice in Bangladesh” organized by the Bangladesh Forum Germany, Brot für die Welt, Berlin, Germany (14-15 April 2016)
  • Presented a poster at the ‘4th PhD Conference on International Development’ organized by the Institute of Development Research and Development Policy (IEE), RUB, together with the School of International Development (DEV), University of East Anglia, UK, and the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS), The Hague, NL, Bochum Germany, 24-25 September 2015
  • Attended the conference ‘The Middle East and the Islamic World in the Mirror of Humanities and Social Sciences’ jointly organized by the German Middle East Studies Association for Contemporary Research and Documentation (DAVO) and the Islamic Studies Section of the German Oriental Society (DMG) at Ruhr-University Bochum on 24 – 26 September 2015
  • Participated in the discussion on ‘Rohingya Refugees: What does it mean for Bangladesh?’, organized by Bold Dhaka, Dhaka, Bangladesh, 27 June 2015
  • Presentation of the Poster illustrating the doctoral research project on the ‘Global Day’, organized by the RUB International Office, Bochum, Germany, 12 June 2015
  • Attended the conference ”South Asia in Transformation: World of Slums, Global Power Houses or Utopias? Migration, labour, and family changes in a dynamic region”, organized by The South Asian Student Association (SASNET), Lund, Sweden 20-22 May 2015
  • Presentation and participation in the ‘Ninth European PhD Workshop in South Asia studies’ organized by SASNET on behalf of European Association of South Asian Studies (EASAS), Höllviken, Malmo, Sweden, 18-19 May 2015
  • Presented the paper “Socio-Cultural Remittances and their Impact: A Study of Migrant Sending Communities in Rural Bangladesh” in the ‘Ninth European PhD Workshop in South Asia studies’ organized by SASNET on behalf of European Association of South Asian Studies (EASAS), Höllviken, Malmo, Sweden (18-19 March 2015)
  • Participated in the conference ‘Reflecting the past – forging the future: Democracy and Human Rights in Bangladesh’s Changing Social Landscape’, Bangladesh Forum Germany, Berlin, 6-7 November 2014
  • Participated as a Volunteer in the Africa Day 2012, Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Attended in a BalkanBorrel on Identity in Kosovo, organized by IKV Pax Christi in November 2012 at Utrecht, Netherlands
  • Organized and attended numerous lectures/conferences on international issues and foreign policy organized by the Association of Foreign Affairs, Lund, Sweden
  • Participated in Maternal, Neonatal and Child Health Programme (MNCH) workshop 2009, organized by UNICEF Bangladesh
  • Participated in ELCDP (Early Learning Centre for Development Program) Communication Strategy Validation workshop 2009, organized by UNICEF Bangladesh
  • Attended in a workshop on Recruitment, Remittances and Payment Partnership Project 2007, Organized by IOM Dhaka, Bangladesh
  • Participated in a message development workshop on Micro Nutrient Product for Children, 2007, organized by Social Marketing Company (SMC) in Bangladesh


11/2013 - present:   Institute of Development Research and Development Policy, Ruhr University Bochum, Germany
PhD Researcher
Thesis Project: Socio-Cultural Remittances and their Impact: A Study of Migrant Sending Communities in Rural Bangladesh
Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Eva Gerharz
06/2012 - 08/2012:   Department of Human Geography, Lund University, Sweden
Research Assistant
09/2011 - 12/2011:   International Organization for Migration (IOM), Bangladesh (
Intern (Worked as a part of research team to conduct research on Labor Migration Issues)
08/2010 - 06/2012:   Lund University, Sweden
MSc in International Development and Management (
Subject of the Master’s Thesis: International Migration, Remittances and Household Development: Contribution of International Labor Migration and Remittances to Migrant Sending Households in Rural Bangladesh
Supervisor: Dr. Olle Frodin
10/2006 - 08/2010:   Asiatic Marketing Communications Limited, Dhaka, Bangladesh (
Associate Manager-Social Communication
07/2005 - 03/2007:   University of Dhaka, Bangladesh
Master of Business Administration (MBA)
Major in Strategic and International Management
Dissertation: The Role of Advertising Agency in the Entire Communication Process
07/2000 - 06/2005:   University of Dhaka, Bangladesh
Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA)
Major in Management Studies

Major Working Experiences

  • Joint UN Programme to Address Violence against Women in Bangladesh
  • IOM’s Emergency Project on "Bangladeshi Returnees from Libya"
  • Information Campaign to Enhance Public Awareness on Safe Migration
  • Remittance & Payment Partnerships Campaign, Safe Migration Campaign conducted by IOM
  • UNDP Project of Local Partnership for Urban Poverty Alleviation Project (LPUPAP)
  • UNICEF Bangladesh: Early Learning Centre for Development (ELCDP) Campaign
  • WaterAid: “Media Campaign on Water Safety”
  • BRAC: Awareness building on tuberculosis curability and breaking the misconception.


Awarded a DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) scholarship under the Graduate School Scholarship Program (GSSP) for PhD studies