Social research, analysis, and writing focused on issues of identity and community

Hi, I’m Rushaa (pronounced Russia)!

I’m a socio-political researcher and occasional culture writer. My work often centres on identity tensions in the modern world, in particular how identities all interact with each other and come to shape our social and political systems.

Currently I’m the Research Manager at Toynbee Hall, co-leading on Toynbee Hall’s co-production/Particiapatory Action Research approach and developing their research strand. In short my work involves guiding people to study and create solutions for problems inside their communities, rather than the traditional approach where the researcher sits removed from those they are researching about.

My writing tends to focus heavily on personal identity and the different components of that. My 2015 longread on vitiligo for Buzzfeed has over 160K views and additional bylines can be found at Dazed and The Independent amongst others. 

Previously I was the Special Projects Manager at Survation where I led UK minority population and complex research, including building and managing ethnicity and faith panels (such as representative UK Jewish and Muslim telephone panels) for opinion polling. Throughout my life I have had many strange and wonderful roles in different countries – from producing news bulletins for breakfast radio shows under a dictatorship to running large music events in Central London – which have all contributed to making me the researcher I am today!


M.A. Politics & Society, University of Maastricht
(2016 – 2017)

Graduated cum laude. Degree focus on political and social impact of nationalism, populism, technology, and cultural conflicts within EEA region.

Courses of note: Democracy and Technology: Political Debates in a Technological Culture, The Politics of National Identity: Past and Present.

M.A. Thesis (Grade 8): Qualitative research project looking at self-identity construction of British LGBTQ Muslims with reference to post-9/11 dominant media and political portrayals of the UK Islamic community. Analysis was drawn from a series of in-depth interviews conducted with self-identified LGBTQ Muslims (recruitment of participants was also self-organised).

B.A. Politics, SOAS, University of London
(2010 – 2013)

Degree focus on Africa and the Middle East (including Chinese relations with the region) and conflict within communities and governments rooted in identity.

Courses of note: Government and Politics of China, Government and Politics of the Middle East, The State and Politics in Africa, Islam and Democracy.