Preethi Krishnan

Preethi Krishnan

Graduate Student // Sociology

Ph.D. Candidate

Office Information



Inequality, Intersections of gender, caste, and class, Development, Globalization, Social movements, Qualitative methods, Violence against women, South Asia(India).

Dissertation Research: By examining women’s claims for basic needs in the context of neoliberalism, I argue that state institutions are hegemonic in facilitating and hindering people’s radical entitlement claims. More specifically, state interventions, whether in the form of neoliberal policies or welfare initiatives, affect inequities at the local level to influence how people interpret their entitlement to basic services. I build on earlier scholarship about challengers' strategic choice of frames to delineate how state policies and social inequities of gender, caste, and class influence how women frame their claims for basic services from the state. Utilizing the two key concepts that I develop - frame appropriation and reactive adoption - to examine variations in women’s claims-making, I analyze the case of the Indian government’s welfare initiative, Integrated Child Development Services(ICDS), which provides food, nutrition, and care for children and mothers through local centers (Anganwadis) managed by women workers. Based on five months of fieldwork in rural Tamil Nadu (India), I utilize observations and 50 semi-structured interviews with mothers, Anganwadi workers, union leaders, and state representatives to argue that state policies related to privatization and welfare influence how different groups of women interpret (frame) their entitlements for basic services at the local level. My data collection and dissertation writing are funded by a Purdue Research Foundation (PRF) fellowship and PROMISE award. Related to my dissertation topic, my recent work has also focused on social movements related to food rights in India which resulted in a co-authored paper published in 2015.

Besides my dissertation work, I have an on-going project on domestic violence in India. In this project, which emerged from my Masters work, I examined case decisions of the Supreme Court of India on 217 domestic violence cases for the period 1995-2014. Two co-authored papers from this project have been published.



I also go by the name Preethi Krishnan Ramaswamy but have published mostly as Preethi Krishnan.

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