School of Social and Political Science

Dr Shruti Chaudhry

Job Title

British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow

Photo
Shruti

Room number

1.01

Street (Address)

21 George Square

City (Address)

Edinburgh

Country (Address)

UK

Research interests

Background

Education

Ph.D. Sociology (University of Edinburgh)

M.Phil. Sociology (University of Delhi)

M.A. Sociology (University of Delhi)

B.A. Sociology (University of Delhi)

Current Research

I am currently a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow (2019-23). My research focuses on the relational lives of older adults (50+) of South Asian heritage (Indian Sikhs and Pakistani Muslims) in Scotland (Edinburgh and Glasgow). It aims to enhance theorisations of family life, care and ageing 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 in shaping experiences of ageing. It supplements the usual focus on kinship in the writing on South Asians with relationality: a theoretical and methodological approach that decentres the nuclear family through a network focus that includes, friendships, neighbourhood, community and transnational relationships.

Doctoral Research

My doctoral research was based on ethnographic fieldwork 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). The evidence-based analysis challenges Euro-centric conceptualisations of marriage migration, intimacy, gender and women’s agency.

Publications

Book

2021 [2022, Paperback]. Moving for Marriage: Inequalities, Intimacy and Women's Lives in Rural North India. SUNY Press (Albany: New York) book series Genders in the Global South.     

Articles & Book Chapters

2022. Mid- and Later-life Cross-Sex Friendships in Minority Ethnic Contexts: Insights from Scotland. Sociological Research Online. DOI: 10.1177/13607804221123334

2020. Covid-19 Public Health Messages and Minority Ethnic Older People in Scotland. Discover Society, (September 11).

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.

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.

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.

Book Reviews

Qureshi, Kaveri. 2019. Chronic Illness in a Pakistani Labour Diaspora. Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press. In The Sociological Review (October 2020).

Grover, Shalini. 2011. Marriage, Love, Caste and Kinship Support: Lived Experiences of the Urban Poor in India. In Sociology 47 (1) (February 2013).

Works within