Vrinda Marwah F'20

Vrinda  Marwah
Doctoral Candidate
Sociology
University of Texas at Austin

Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships 2020
Doctoral Candidate
Sociology
University of Texas at Austin
Reproducing the State: Women Community Health Volunteers in North India

Working in the heart of India’s reproductive health care system, this project explores how the contemporary state constitutes citizenship through the modality of care. It examines the working lives of women community health workers, called ASHAs, who are “volunteers” paid to motivate poor women to use public health services. ASHAs reveal the productive power of an understudied and intensely gendered role in the state: the frontline bureaucrat. Because of the deeply intimate knowledge ASHAs have of their clients, and the networks they build among public and private health care providers, they become highly sought-after actors in service delivery. Through 14 months of ethnographic fieldwork, this project uncovers how the sociality of these women exceeds, and reconstitutes, the policy they are meant to implement.