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Arima Mishra


A trained Sociologist from Delhi School of Economics, University of Delhi, Arima has more than 17 years of teaching and research experience in medical sociology/anthropology and public health. Her research specifically includes work on social determinants of health, notions of ‘risk’ and evidence’ in medicine and public health, local health traditions and health system policies and practices. Her research is largely located at the methodological interface between social science (specifically Sociology/Anthropology) and Public Health. Prior to joining the university, she was teaching in Delhi School of Economics, University of Delhi and had been a Visiting Scholar to University of Edinburgh, UK, University of Minnesota, USA, University of Oslo, Norway apart from giving lectures in many other national and international universities. She has worked in public health institutes including IC-Health, Delhi, Institute of Public Health, Bangalore.

Academic Qualifications

M. A, M.Phil and Ph.D (Department of Sociology, Delhi School of Economics, University of Delhi)

Interest areas and expertise

Medical anthropology, health systems policies and practices, qualitative research methodology


Health, medicine and society, Ethics in Public health practice, Sociology of Modern India


Books/Special Journal Issues

  • Arima Mishra and Kalyani Subbiah (2018) Ethics in Public Health Practice in India. Singapore: Springer Nature
  • 2014. Critical Ethnographies of health systems and policies, Special Issue of Global Public Health (co-edited with Katerini Storeng) Vol. 9 (8)
  • 2013. Multiple stories and voices: Narratives of Health and Illness (co-edited with Suhita Chopra Chatterjee) Delhi: Orient Black Swan.
  • 2013. Anthropology and Public Health, Special issue of Indian Anthropologist (ed.), Vol. 42(1), 2
  • 2010. Health, Illness and Medicine: Ethnographic Readings (ed) Delhi: Orient BlackSwan
  • 2010. Hunger and Famine in Kalahandi: An anthropological study. Delhi: Pearson Longman

Articles in peer reviewed journals

  • 2018 Arima Mishra, Devaki Nambiar and Harilal Madhavan, ‘The ‘making’ of local health traditions in India: Revitalization or marginalization?, Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. LIII, (30)
  • 2018 [with Veena Sriram et al) 10 best resources on power in health policy and systems in low- and middle-income countries, Health Policy and Planning, doi: 10.1093/heapol/czy008
  • 2018 Politics and practices of health in India, Book Review of Health beyond medicine: Some reflections on the sociology and politics of health in India. Delhi: Aakar Books, MFC Bulletin, July 2018
  • 2018 Arima Mishra and Devaki Nambiar On the unraveling of revitalization of local health traditions: an ethnographic inquiry, International Journal for Equity in Health
  • 2017 Sreeparna Chattopadhyay, Arima Mishra & Suraj Jacob,‘Safe’, yet violent? Women’s experiences with obstetric violence during hospital births in rural Northeast India, Culture, Health & Sexuality,
  • 2016 Ashwini Behera, Arima Mishra and Sreeparna Chattopadyay “A Real Man’, Photo narrative on maternal health, Global Health Action,
  • 2016 Invited Book review: Sociology of Health and Illness: New perspectives by Sujata V in History and Sociology of South Asia, 10 (1)
  • 2015 with Shreelata Rao Seshadri ‘Unpacking the discourse on universal health coverage in India, Social Medicine, 9 (2)
  • 2014 Katerini Storeng and Arima Mishra Politics and practices of global health: Critical ethnographies of health systems Global Public Health Vol. 9 (8)
  • 2014. Trust and teamwork matter: Community health workers’ experiences in integrated service delivery, Global Public Health, Vol. 9 (8) DOI: 10.1080/17441692.2014.934877
  • 2014. Upendra Bhojani, N. Devadasan, Arima Mishra et al Health system challenges in organizing quality diabetes care for urban poor in South India, PLOS One, 9(9): e106522. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0106522
  • 2013. Upendra Bhojani, Arima Mishra, S. Amrutha et al. Constraints faced by urban poor in managing diabetes care: perspectives from South India, Global Health Action, 6: 22258
  • 2012. Upendra Bhojani, Arima Mishra, N.S. Prasanth and Werner Soors (eds.) The BMC Supplement (5) on ‘Bringing Evidence into Public Health Policy’
  • 2011. Arima Mishra and Sumita Sarma ‘Understanding Health and Illness among the tribal Communities in Orissa’ Indian Anthropologist, Vol. 42, 2012 pp: 1-14
  • 2011. Engaging with the discourse on lifestyle modifications: Evidence from India, Health Culture and Society, Vol.1 (1): 1-22
  • 2011. Aneeta Minocha, Arima Mishra and V.R. Minocha ‘Euthanasia: A social science perspective’, Economic and Political Weekly, December 25, 2011
  • 2010. Invited Book review: Recipes for Immortality: Medicine, Religion and Community in South India, Richard S. Weiss, Medical Anthropology Quarterly Vol 24 (2): 274-276
  • 2010. Studying Cultural Synthesis: Evidence from a border village in South Orissa, Lokaratna (a peer reviewed journal on folklore), Vol. 2 (2)
  • 2008. Arima Mishra, Tulsi Patel and K.Srinath Reddy. Social Construction of Chronicity: The case of Heart Diseases in India, Journal of Health Studies, Vol. 2 (2) November 2008
  • 2008. Book review: Made in China: Women Factory workers in a global workplace by Pun Ngai, Journal Inter-cultural studies (Routledge) May 2008
  • 2008. Book review: Knowledge and Society: Situating Sociology and Social Anthropology in India by T.K.Oommen, Sociological Bulletin, May –June 2008
  • 2007. Teaching Medical Anthropology in India, Anthropology News (Journal of the American Anthropological Association), Vol. 48 (3) March
  • 2005. Arima Mishra, M, Arora, M. Stigler, K. Srinath Reddy et al ‘Indian Youth Speak about Tobacco: Results of Focus Group Discussions among school students’. Health Education and Behavior, 33 (4)
  • 2005. Local Perceptions of Famine: Study of a village in Orissa, Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. XL(8): 572-578
  • 2003. Shifalika Goenka, Arima Mishra and K. Srinath Reddy, Diabetes in Developing countries: A Real world View, Heart Beat, January
  • 2000. The Study of the Impoverishment Process: The Great Bengal Famine of 1943, Indian Historical Review 27(79) DOI: 10.1177/037698360002700106
Chapters in edited books
  • 2014. Arima Mishra and Sidsel Roalkvam The reproductive body and the state: Engaging with the National Rural Health Mission in tribal Odisha In Kenneth Bielsen and Anne Waldrop eds. Women, gender and everyday social transformation in India. London: Anthem Press
  • 2013. Arima Mishra, Rune Flikke, Cecilia Nordfeldt and Lot Nyirenda ‘Immunization is good for your children: Local immunization practices in India and Malawi’ In Sidsel Roalkvam Suart Blume and Desmond McNeill (eds) Protecting the World’s Children: Immunization policies and practices. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • 2013. Arima Mishra, Shefali Hasija and Sidsel Roalkvam, Numerical narratives: Accounts of lay health workers in Odisha, In Arima Mishra and Suhita Chopra Chatterjee (eds) Multiple voices and stories: Narratives of health and illness. Delhi: Orient BlackSwan
  • 2010. Deconstructing self-care in biomedical and public health discourses, In Arima Mishra (ed) Health, Illness and Medicine: Ethnographic Readings. Delhi: Orient Blackswan, 2010
  • 2008. Insiders and Outsiders: Studying ‘tribal Kandha villages’ In George Pfeffer and Deepak Behera (eds.) Contemporary Society: Tribal Studies series Vol. 7 Concept Publishing House: New Delhi.
  • 2006. The Everyday life in a slum in Delhi: View of the children, In Deepak Behera (ed) (2006) Childhoods in South Asia. Delhi: Pearson Longman
  • 2006. ‘Between the visible and invisible: Gender relations in a tribe in India’, In Janet Lowry and Kamal K. Misra eds. Current Researches on Indian Women. New Delhi: Rawat
  • 2005. ‘Kado Bikri: Informal Process of Land Transfer among the Kutia Kandhas’, In George Pfeffer and Deepak Behera (ed.) Contemporary Society: Tribal Studies Series Vol. 6 Concept Publishing House: New Delhi 2005

Popular articles

Research and Policy Briefs

  • Arima Mishra and Devaki Nambiar, Policy Lessons of and for revitalization of local health traditions, Research Newsletter, Research Centre, Azim Premji University
  • Arima Mishra and N. Devadasan ‘Averting maternal deaths: Ensuring 24*7 emergency obstetric care’ HESVIC/IPH Policy Brief 2012/1
  • Arima Mishra and N. Devadasan ‘Improving access to safe abortions services in rural Karnataka’ HESVIC/IPH Policy Brief 2012/2

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