Colloquium Series: Contextualizing Family Change in India

2018 Jan 19, Friday
Seminar Hall, 10th Floor, Pixel A (Azim Premji University)

About the Lecture

Economic transformation combined with rising education has wrought changes in family formation around the world. This presentation will compare the Indian experience with that experienced by East and Southeast Asian nations. Explanations focus on structural and ideological changes related to socioeconomic development, cultural factors including kinship system, religion and ethnicity, and public policies. While the impact of rapid modernization and related ideational changes are evident, there are also changes, or lack thereof, that cannot be explained by development and may be attributable to historical and cultural factors that have shaped family norms in the region. Description of the commonalities and divergences between Indian and East and Southeast Asian nations will be supplemented by some analyses of the lifestyles of families in the vanguard of Indian transformation that choose to limit their families to a single child


About the Speaker

Sonalde Desai is a Professor of Sociology at University of Maryland with a joint appointment as Senior Fellow at the National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER). She is a demographer whose work deals primarily with human development in developing countries with a particular focus on gender and class inequalities. She studies employment, education and maternal and child health outcomes by locating them within the political economy of the region. While much of her research focuses on India, she has also undertaken comparative studies across South Asia, Latin America and Sub Saharan Africa. She has led the India Human Development Survey (IHDS) since 2003. The IHDS is the first nationwide panel survey in India and designed to trace changes in the Indian society in an era of rapid transformation. The IHDS is in the public domain and is being used by over 9000 researchers worldwide. Sonalde has published extensively in a variety of Indian and international journals and has also served on the editorial board of several journals. She received her PhD in Sociology from the University of Maryland and underwent post-doctoral training at the University of Chicago and The RAND Corporation.