Dr Shemana Cassim

Research Fellow

Qualifications: BSc (Melbourne, Aus); MAppPsyc(Comm); PhD (Waikato)

Research Interests

Shemana has an interest in the cultural, social and community factors involved in health and illness, and how cultural, historical and social contexts, inter-group relations and societal structures influence the health of migrant and/or indigenous groups. In 2017, Shemana completed her PhD exploring how Sri Lankan migrants in New Zealand negotiate processes of settlement and adaptation in their new home in ways that can enhance their sense of belonging and thus their overall well-being. Key issues considered include, collective identity maintenance, places of belonging, and the importance of food-related practices in maintaining cultural links and facilitating social networks in migrants’ everyday lives.

Currently, Shemana is part of a HRC funded project exploring barriers to early diagnosis and treatment of Lung Cancer among Māori and rural communities.

About Me

Dr Cassim has a background in Social Psychology. While her intellectual roots are located in general social, health and indigenous psychologies, she takes an interdisciplinary approach to health research.

Recent Publications

  • Cassim, S. (2017). Oceans away: Sri Lankan migrants in New Zealand: Explorations of hybrid identities, distance & everyday material practices. (PhD Thesis, University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand). Retrieved from

  • Cassim, S. (2016). Oceans away: Sr Lankan migration, distance, material practice & hybrid identitites. In Pathways, Circuits and Crossroads 2016 Conference: From global to local: Impacts of international migration, mobility and diversity. Conference held at Wellington, New Zealand.

  • Cassim, S. (2015). Oceans away: Sri Lankan migration and everyday material practices. In 2nd International Conference on Social Sciences (ICOSS): Developments and changing dynamics of social sciences. Conference held at Colombo, Sri Lanka.

  • Cassim, S., Stolte, O., & Hodgetts, D. (2015). Metonymic objects, cultural practices and narrative repair: Sri Lankan responses to the Indian Ocean tsunami. Journal of Health Psychology, 20(7), 974-983. doi:10.1177/1359105313504442 Open Access version:

Find more research publications by Shemana Cassim

Contact Details

Name  Extn.  Username  Room  Department
Cassim, Dr Shemana 4989 cassim K.3.22 Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor

You can contact staff by:
  • Calling +64 7 838 4466  select option 1, then enter the extension
  • Extensions starting with 4, 5 or 9 can also be direct dialled:
    • For extensions starting with 4: dial +64 7 838 extension
    • For extensions starting with 5: dial +64 7 858 extension
    • For extensions starting with 9: dial +64 7 837 extension
    • For extensions starting with 8: dial +64 7 557 extension (TAURANGA exts only)
  • Calling between campuses add 37 to the front of the extension
  • Emailing
  • Using the campus map to locate their room