V Sujatha
V. Sujatha
Centre for the Study of Social Systems,
School of Social Sciences,
Jawaharlal Nehru University,
New Delhi-110067, India


PhD (Sociology)   

Field of specialisation

Sociology of knowledge, Sociology of health and medicine with particular reference to traditional systems of medicine.

Reseach Projects

  • 1998-99: Research project on the vegetable tanning techniques of a community known as Arundathiars in the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu carried out for the state Government. The study brings out the impact of globalization of leather industry in India on the economic situation community which was already suffering from social discrimination. The techno, economic and social study in 21 districts aimed at showing how development and growth are not coterminous and that the initial development in the economic status of the community in the early twentieth century was lost with the onset of export oriented leather processing industry in the eighties in which they were reduced to temporary wage labour.

  • 2006-08: Research projects sponsored by AIHSS and CASP, University Grants Commission, India on 'Innovation within and between traditions of medicine' focused the clinical practices of both traditional and the college educated practitioners of siddha/ayurveda systems of medicine.

  • 2009-2010: UGC-DAAD PPP Program on 'Epistemological pluralism and bilateralism. Ayurveda in a globalizing world' in collaboration with University of Freiburg, Germany, from 2009-2010 involving field studies of ayurvedic practices in Germany.

  • 2011 onwards: CASP, University Grants Commission, project for monograph on 'Sociology of Health and Medicine. New perspectives'.

Post graduate courses designed and taught

  • Sociology of knowledge, Methods of social sciences, Techniques of social research and Health culture and society at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi (during 2005-2012)

  • 'Modern European thought and its critique,' at the Institute for Soziologie, University of Freiburg, Germany; May – July 2009

  • 'The politics of medical pluralism and indigenous medicine' at the Institute for Soziologie, University of Freiburg, Germany; May – July 2009

  • 'Theories of Globalization: New perspectives on knowledge, science and society' at FLACSO, Buenos Aires, Argentina; Oct – Nov.2012

Key Publications

Books/Special journal issues/Reports

  1. 2014. Sociology of Health and medicine. New Perspectives, Oxford University Press: New Delhi (Textbook cum reference) More details: http://ukcatalogue.oup.com/product/9780198099130.do

  2. 2012. V.Sujatha and Leena Abraham (Ed.) Medical pluralism in contemporary India, Orient Black Swan: New Delhi

  3. 2009. V.Sujatha and Leena Abraham (Ed.) 'Medicine state and society. Indigenous medicine and medical pluralism in India' Special section of the Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. XLIV(16) April 18-24, pp 35-83

  4. 2003. Sujatha.V. Health by the people. Sociology of medical lore. Rawat: Jaipur.

  5. 1998. Arundathiars. The traditional leather artisans in Tamil Nadu. A techno, social and economic survey. Research report submitted to the Dept. of Adi Dravidar Welfare, Govt. of Tamil Nadu.

  6. 1991. Vaidya Aruna, A.V.Balasubramanian and V.Sujatha. Nidana: Diagnosis in traditional medicine. Lok Swastya Parampara Samvardhan Samiti: Chennai.

Papers/Book chapters

  1. Forthcoming. 'Is food natural or cultural? Food, Body and 'the social' in Indian medical traditions' in Gordon Mcquat and Sundar Sarukkai (ed) Science and the narratives of nature in the east and the west, Routledge: India

  2. 2013. 'Knowledge, science and society' in Yogendra Singh (Ed.) Indian Sociology. Emerging Concepts, Structure and Change Vol. I, ICSSR and Oxford University Press: New Delhi ( Anubhav Sengupta co-author)
  3. 2012. 'Laboratory and life as sites of validation. Ethics in the regime of medical pluralism' in U Kalpagam (Ed.) Ethics, Health and Medicine: Anthropological Perspectives, Manak Publications; New Delhi

  4. 2011. 'What could 'integrative' medicine mean? Social science perspectives on contemporary ayurveda' Journal of Ayurveda and integrative medicine, Vol. 2 (3), pp 115-12

  5. 2011, 'Innovation within and between traditions. Siddha medicine in contemporary south India' to Science technology and society, Vol.16 (2) 191-213, Sage publications

  6. 2010. 'Disciplinary trajectories and social trends: An essay on sociology in Tamil Nadu' in Maitrayee Choudhury (Ed.) Sociology in India, Rawat: Delhi

  7. 2009. V.Sujatha. 'The patient as a knower. Principle and practice in Siddha Medicine' and Introduction in V.Sujatha and Leena Abraham (Ed.) 'Medicine state and society. Indigenous medicine and medical pluralism in India' Special section of the Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. XLIV(16) April 18-24, pp 76-83

  8. 2007. 'Pluralism in Indian medicine: Medical lore as a genre of medical knowledge', Contributions to Indian Sociology, May-Aug 2007, Vol. 41 (2) pp 169 – 202.

  9. 2006. 'Knowledge and society' in A.V.Afonso (Ed.) Consciousness, society and values (pp 227-243) Indian Institute of Advanced Study; Simla

  10. 2005. 'Whither medical lore? Indigenous medicine and health development in India' in Laurent Pordie (Ed.) Panser le monde, Penser de medicines (pp 145-166). Karthala; France.

  11. 2002. 'Food: The immanent cause from outside. Medical lore on food and health in village Tamil Nadu', Sociological Bulletin, Vol. 51 (1).

  12. 2002. 'Tamil Nadu: Leather Processing. Role of indigenous technology', Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. XXXVII (47).

  13. 2001. 'Internal to external. Transformation of ecology and body system', Review of Development and Change, Vol. VI (2).

Publications in Indian languages

2012. Trans. 'Thol pathaniduthal. Marabana thozil nutpathin pangu' (Role of traditional technology in the leather processing ), Vellai Kuthirai (Tamil Intellectual Monthly) Issue 4, July 2012

2012. 'Noyuruthalum, noyarithalum' (To be diseased and to know the disease), Kalachuvadu (Tamil intellectual monthly) June 2012

2009 'Kalachara parimatram enbathu enna?' (What is cultural assimilation?), Kalachuvadu (Tamil intellectual monthly) January 2010

2009 'Nayi kasuti pe Ayurved' (in Hindi; Translated) Jansatta (Hindi daily) 20/12/09

2009. 'Samoogaviyalum Samudhayamum (in Tamil) ('Sociology and Society'), Kalachuvadu (Tamil intellectual monthly) June 2009.


  • Convenor, Research Committee 1 of the Indian Sociological Society on 'Concept, theory and methodology' since 2010

  • Advisory Committee Member, National Survey on AYUSH under National Rural Health Mission Government of India, 2008-2009