SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2018 |
If only women’s needs could be quickly identified through surveys. If only taboos about sexual health, sexual identity and HIV weren’t so silencing. If only helping organizations could easily deliver programs to meet women’s needs. That would simplify the research of Mangala Subramaniam, whose projects, many in India, examine inequality, social movements and how those who are disadvantaged organize to claim basic needs and rights, from accessing water to ending violence against women and reducing HIV risks.
Instead, her research in India uses quantitative and qualitative data. “It involves accessing marginalized populations — poor women, lower-caste women, transgender people and women in sex work,” says Subramaniam, a professor of sociology and the Butler Chair and Director of the Susan Bulkeley Butler Center for Leadership Excellence. She makes contacts, develops trust, builds relationships, listens and offers empathy. And she writes about the challenges in the data collection process. Read more.
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Writer: Kathy Mayer, freelance writer