- Dr Shruti Chaudhry
- British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow
- 1.01 21 George Square Edinburgh UK
- +44 (0)1316511778
Family, Marriage and intimate relationships; Migration; Ageing; Life-course; Care; Inter-generational relationships; Poverty and social inequalities; Everyday life; Lived Experiences; Social Change; Ethnography and Qualitative Research; British/Scottish South Asian families; Ethnic minority families; India, South Asia, Scotland.
I am currently a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow (2019-22). My research focuses on the relational lives of ageing British South Asians in Scotland(Indian Sikhs and Pakistani Muslims in Edinburgh and Glasgow). It aims to theorise about family life in relation to social change and cultural diversity (and indeed diversity within ethnic minority populations). The health parameters of South Asians and the white population are distinctive: South Asians are more likely to suffer from ill-health, often chronic illnesses, at younger ages and they face greater health care challenges. Furthermore, South Asians are assumed to ‘care for their own’, yet South Asian families are in a state of flux (just like white British families). The research explores the implications of such changes for ageing and the allocation of care and the role of other actors such as religious institutions (mosques and gurudwaras), NGOs/charities and friendship networks in supporting ‘traditional’ care systems.
(1) How can changes in British South Asian Sikh and Muslim families inform current theorising of care, relationality and family life?
(2) How are changes in culturally diverse British Asian families shaping the experience of ageing?
(3) How do British Sikhs and Pakistani individuals enact elder care and what factors shape these enactments?
(4) How do older British South Asian Sikhs and Muslims imagine or anticipate their futures?
I completed a PhD in Sociology in 2016 from the University of Edinburgh. My doctoral research was based on eleven months of ethnographic fieldwork in a village in the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. It compared the lived-experiences of marriage for women in ‘regional’ marriages (that conform to caste and community norms with a relatively small marriage distance) with women in ‘cross-regional’ marriages (that cross caste, linguistic and state boundaries and entail long-distance migration). By distinguishing where distance makes a difference, it aimed to challenge moral panics and simplistic assumptions about ‘problematic wives’ who are brought from far away. Through a focus on the ‘everyday’, it highlighted how women’s post-marital experiences in relation to their work and social relationships, their capacity to control their sexual and reproductive careers and their ability to mobilise support in the event of marital abuse or distress is shaped by a range of factors (caste, class/poverty, religion and stage in the life-course). It provided an empirically-informed approach to the gendering of intimacy in an arranged marriage context thereby offering an alternative to Euro-American understandings of intimacy and women's agency.
I have taught in Religious Studies, International Development and have guest lectured and tutored on a number of courses in the School of Social and Political Science that include: Gender and Development, Sociology and Global Change, Sociology 2B: Researching Social Life and South Asia: Culture, Politics and Economy.
Under Contract. Crossing Borders for Marriage: Women, Intimacy and Everyday Life in rural North India. SUNY Press (Albany: New York) book series Genders in the Global South. Debra A. Castillo and Shelley Feldman, eds.
2018. 'Now it is difficult to Get Married': Contextualising Cross-Regional Marriage and Bachelorhood in a North Indian Village, in Sharada Srinivasan and Shuzhuo Li (eds.). Scarce Women and Surplus Men in China and India: Macro Demographics versus Local Dynamics. Cham: Springer.
2019. 'For how long can your piharwale intervene?' Accessing Natal kin support in rural north India. Modern Asian Studies, 53 (5): 1613-45.
2019. 'Flexible' caste boundaries: Cross-regional marriage as 'mixed' marriage in rural north India. Contemporary South Asia, 27 (2): 214-28.
2011 with Devi Mohan, Taneesha. ‘Of Marriage and Migration: Bengali and Bihari Brides in a U.P. Village’. Indian Journal of Gender Studies 18 (3): 311-340.
‘Marriage, Love, Caste and Kinship Support: Lived Experiences of the Urban Poor in India’. Shalini Grover. In Sociology 47 (1). (February 2013)
‘Dowry: Bridging the Gap between Theory and Practice’. Emma Tomalin, Mangala Subramaniam and Tamsin Bradley (Eds.). In Indian Journal of Gender Studies 19 (1). (February 2012).
‘With Respect to Sex: Negotiating Hijra Identity in South India’. Gayatri Reddy. In Indian Journal of Gender Studies 17 (3). (September-December, 2010).