Parthasarathy receives IRWG funding to investigate gender, caste and innovation in India

January 20, 2016

Professor Shobita Parthasarathy has received a 2016 seed grant from Michigan's Institute for Research on Women and Gender (IRWG), which supports individual research activities and collaborative projects in the field of women, gender, and sexuality. According to the IRWG press release, Parthasarathy’s project "analyzes the gender order produced by India's grassroots innovation system."

Innovations in this field are often low-tech, cheap and produced by citizens with limited education and capital, which would appear to promote empowerment. The project interrogates what gender and caste dynamics are created by India’s grassroots innovation system. Does this system reflect or transform traditional understandings of women and low-caste individuals in innovation? Does it provide a policy framework for encouraging innovation both for and by women with limited resources?

Parthasarathy will explore these questions through four case studies of Indian organizations involved in different aspects of grassroots innovation.

The faculty research seed grant was also cited in the Michigan Daily in its January 27 article, "Faculty members receive seed funding for gender related research projects."

Shobita Parthasarathy is an associate professor of public policy at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy. She does research on governance of transformative science and technology, both in the United States and abroad. Her current research focuses on the politics of patenting biotechnology in the US and Europe, exploring, in comparative perspective, how democratic objectives are interpreted by technical institutions. At Michigan, Parthasarathy teaches courses in genetics and biotechnology policy, science and technology policy analysis, and political strategy.

--Story by Alex Berger (MPP '17)