Knowledge for a sustainable world

BA, BA, MSc, PhD

Shalini Grover received her PhD from the Department of Social Anthropology, University of Sussex, where she was supervised by Geert De Neve and Filippo Osella. Post-2007, she has held the following posts, at the Institute of Economic Growth (IEG) Delhi; ‘Sir Ratan-Tata Postdoctoral Fellow, 'Senior Research Fellow' and ‘Associate Professor. In 2018, she was an Associate Professor at O.P. Jindal Global University, Delhi. She has also been a long-term Honorary Fellow at the School of Social and Political Science, University of Edinburgh, Scotland. Shalini has taught BA and MA courses at Royal Holloway College, Ambedkar University, O.P. Jindal and CEPT, Gujarat. She has also supervised MA and PhD students, in India and internationally.

Shalini is an anthropologist who works on gender, development and policy issues. Her principal areas of research are marriage, love, kinship, divorce, consensual remarriage, informal dispute settlement and legal pluralism in urban India. Her 2011 book ('Marriage, Love, Caste and Kinship Support: Lived Experiences of the Urban Poor,' Social Science Press: Delhi) is out in a new international and revised edition with Routledge (the United Kingdom & New York, 2017). The book is also about social transformations, modernity, urban poor communities and labour relations. Shalini has published her work widely in peer-reviewed journals; Contributions to Indian Sociology, The Australian Journal of Anthropology (TAJA), Asian Journal of Women’s Studies and Journal of South Asia Development.  She is now working on several invited articles for publication.

Shalini’s new work is on transnational care-domestic labour markets, social mobility, changing skill sets for food cultures and historical shifts in domesticity in present-day India. She has particularly focused on Euro-American migration and new cultural identities in globalizing India. She is the lead editor for a Special Journal Issue on Domestic Labour in Contemporary India, with co-editors and collaborators Patricia Jeffery and Thomas Chambers.

In relation to Euro-American transnational lives, Shalini has also contributed to a forthcoming historical edited volume called; 'Servants Past' (Orient Blackswan) and the volume, ‘Cultural Psychology of Intervention in the Globalized World’ (Information Age Publishing) where her chapter is titled: ‘Who is an Expatriate in India?’

With a background in “Gender and Development,” and “Policy,” Shalini has worked as a consultant for multi-lateral institutions such as UNIFEM and UNDP. She has participated in several Gender and Development projects for IDS (University of Sussex), The Commonwealth Secretariat, Action Aid, Singamma Sreenivasan Foundation (Bangalore), Women's Policy Research and Advocacy Unit (Bangalore) and Centre for Social Research (CSR - New Delhi).

As a researcher for the United Nations Environment and Development Committee (UNED-UK), Shalini has authored the report Gender and Sustainable Consumption: Bridging the Policy Gaps. This 1999 report examined the gender dimensions of consumer behaviour and linkages with sustainable development.

Apart from her academic work, Shalini has engaged in numerous public debates on the institution of marriage and the inequalities of domestic labour through a range of book reviews, newspaper articles, blogs, and opinion pieces. Her Personal Web Page, Research and Writings are available on

Marriage, love, kinship, remarriage, and caste dynamics in urban India/South Asia.

Ethnographies of formal divorce, changing legal behavior in middle-class India, 'Women’s Courts,' ‘Crime Against Women’s Cells’ and ‘Family Courts.’

New areas of research include domestic workers narratives of social mobility, and care-labour markets wider relationship with global forces, transnationalism, and capitalism. I have collected the biographies, genealogies, original food recipes and training certificates of female domestic workers. My domestic workers' trajectories are set against the backdrop of Euro-American ‘expatriate’ cultures and changing skill sets in India.

Expertise in gender, development, and policy.

Books (Single Authored Monograph):

Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles:

  • 2018. Grover, Shalini. English-speaking and Educated Female Domestic Workers in Contemporary India: New Managerial Roles, Social Mobility and Persistent Inequality. Journal of South Asian Development (JSAD). 13 (2): 186-209.
  • 2018. Grover, Shalini, Thomas Chambers, Patricia, Jeffery and (Editors). Introduction to the Special Issue: Portraits of Women’s Paid Domestic-Care Labour: Ethnographic Studies from Globalizing India. Journal of South Asian Development (JSAD). 13 (2): 1-18.
  • Grover, Shalini. (2017). Jural Relations of Middle-Class Marriage and Women as Legal Subjects in the Imaginary of “New India.” The Australian Journal of Anthropology. (TAJA) 28 (3): 249-393.
  • Grover, Shalini. (2017). Revisiting the Devyani Khobragade Controversy: The Value of Domestic Labour in the Global South. In ‘Voices’ from Asian Feminist Activism, Asian Journal of Women’s Studies (AJWS). 23 (1): 121-128.  (Opinion Piece) 
  • Grover, Shalini. (2011). Purani aur Nai Shaadi: Separation, Divorce, and Remarriage in the Lives of the Urban Poor in New Delhi. Asian Journal of Women’s Studies (AJWS). 17 (1): 67-99.
  • Grover, Shalini. (2009). Lived Experiences: Marriage, Notions of Love, and Kinship Support Amongst Poor Women in Delhi. Contributions to Indian Sociology (CIS). 43 (1): 1–33.

Book Chapters:

  • Grover, Shalini. (Forthcoming, 2019). The All-Rounder as the New Servant in Expatriate Relationships. In, Nitin Varma and Nitin Sinha (Editors) Servants Past. Delhi: Orient Blackswan.
  • Grover, Shalini. (2018). Conjugality and Marital Dissolution in Historical Perspective.  In, Sanjay Srivastava, Yasmeen Arif and Janaki Abraham (Editors) Critical Themes in Indian Sociology. Delhi: Sage.
  • Grover, Shalini. (2018). Who is an Expatriate? Euro-American Identities, Race and Integration in Postcolonial India. In, Sanna Schliewe, Nandita Chaudhary and Giuseppina (Editors) Cultural Psychology of Intervention in the Globalized World. Information Age Publishing: USA, Charlotte: NC.
  • Grover, Shalini. (2014).  Purani aur nai shaadi: Separation, Divorce and Remarriage Amongst Delhi’s Urban Poor (reprint). In, Ravinder Kaur and Rajni Palriwala (Editors) Marrying in South Asia: Shifting Concepts, Changing Practices in a Globalizing World. Delhi: Orient Blackswan.
  • 2018: Global Engagement Fund for one month (Via University College London).
  • 2018: Publication Reward Sum, by O.P, Jindal Global University.
  • 2011-2013: Senior Fellowship in Social Anthropology: Indian Council of Social Science Research
  • 2007-2010: Sir Ratan Tata Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Sociology and Anthropology
  • 2007: ESRC Post-Doctoral Fellowship, University of Edinburgh (offered but I declined and took the Sir Ratan Tata instead).
  • 2004: ASA/Radcliffe-Brown Trust Fund (Royal Anthropological Institute, United Kingdom)
  • 2003: Charles Wallace India Trust Grant.
  • 1992-1994: Commonwealth Scholarship to Cambridge University.
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