Arima Mishra

Areas of Interest & Expertise

  • Medical Anthropology
  • Health Systems Policies and Practices
  • Qualitative Research Methodology


Arima Mishra has taught at the University of Delhi, worked in IC-HEALTH, Delhi (an initiative of World Health Organization and Global Forum for Health Research) and Institute of Public Health, Bangalore. She has more than twelve years of research experience examining research themes in the areas of medical sociology, sociology of childhood and sociology of poverty and marginalization. 

In the area of medical sociology, she has been working on a wide range of issues including social construction of chronic illness, notions of evidence’, in medicine and other healings systems, immunization and mother-child health, health systems governance and methodological interface between social science and public health.

She is trained in Sociology from Delhi School of Economics, University of Delhi. She has seventeen years of research and teaching experience. She had been an academic visitor to several universities including University of Minnesota, USA, Glasgow Caledonian University, University of Edinburgh in UK, and University of Oslo, Norway.

She has been engaged in ethnographic work on social determinants of health, notions of 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. She recently led research project on revitalization of local health traditions based in there southern states (20142016).

She is a recipient of the M.N.Srinivas Memorial Prize for the best article in social anthropology published in an Indian journal, Economic and Political Weekly, and the Charles Wallace Fellowship based in University of Edinburgh, Scotland.


Certificate Courses

  • Ethics in Public Health Practices

    A 5-day course on ethical frameworks, dilemmas and resolutions in all aspects of public health practice including policy and program design, implementation and evaluation, communication, advocacy, research and training.



Books/​Special Journal Issues

  • 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

  • 2016 Ashwini Behera, Arima Mishra and Sreeparna Chattopadyay A Real Man’, Photo narrative on maternal health, Global Health Action, http://​www​.glob​al​healthac​tion​.net/​i​n​d​e​x​.​p​h​p​/​g​h​a​/​a​r​t​i​c​l​e​/​v​i​e​w​/​34140
  • 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 practice of global health: Critical ethnographies of health systems Global Public Health Vol. 9 (8) http://​dx​.doi​.org/​10​.​1080​/​17441692​.​2014​.​941901
  • 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 http://​dx​.doi​.org/​10​.​3402/gha.…
  • 2012. Upendra Bhojani, Arima Mishra, N.S. Prasanth and Werner Soors (eds.) The BMC Supplement (5) on Bringing Evidence into Public Health Policy’ www​.bio​med​cen​tral​.com/1753 – 6561/6/S5/O26
  • 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 252011 
  • 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

  • (With Devaki Nambiar) 2017, Revitalization of local health traditions, Deccan Herald, January 28, 2017 http://​www​.dec​ca​n​her​ald​.com/co… Nambiar and Arima Mishra (2017) In defense of traditional healers: Not what they’re quacked up to be, eSSay, esocialsciences February
  • With Sandesh Kotta Where does the healthcare of the people in India figure in political parties manifesto? British Medical Journal, Blog, 2014, 0502, http://​blogs​.bmj​.com/​b​m​j​/​2014/… moves: Missioning health in India, International Health Policies News Letter http://www.internationalhealth… Briefs
  • Arima Mishra and N. Devadasan Averting maternal deaths: Ensuring 24×7 emergency obstetric care’ HESVIC/IPH Policy Brief 20121
  • Arima Mishra and N. Devadasan Improving access to safe abortions services in rural Karnataka’ HESVIC/IPH Policy Brief 20122