Courses by Instructor



Tannistha Samanta

University/Corporation Name

Indian Institute of Technology Gandhinagar

Research Interests

Gerontology, Family sociology, Research Methods

Statement of Purpose (SOP)

here’s my short bio summarizing briefly my research and teaching interests:
Degrees: I am an Assistant Professor in the department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology, Gandhinagar (IITGN). I received my PhD and an MA from the department of Sociology at the University of Maryland, College Park, MD. Prior to that, I have had degrees in Applied Economics from the University of Calcutta (Kolkata) and Jawaharlal Nehru University (New Delhi)
Research: I draw from intersecting disciplines of sociology, gerontology and public health to examine the sociological question of inequality adopting a range of methodological tools and praxis. My significant contribution to social science research is primarily in the fields of international gerontology and gender studies with a focus on India. My doctoral research, published in a top gerontology journal- Oxford Journals of Gerontology: Series B, 2015, 70(6)- empirically unpacked the link between living arrangements and health outcomes among older Indians using propensity score analysis. This research is important for both its methodological innovation and also because majority of gerontological research look at these two factors-living arrangement and health-separately and not simultaneously. More recently, I have closely examined the intersection of age with the “social” in terms of gender, sociality, family/kinship and context. My interest in these questions motivated me to argue for the need to go beyond the traditional dualisms of young/old, developing/developed, etc. and push the social science intellectual frontiers to engage with theory more meaningfully. This assertion culminated through the publication of an edited volume, “Cross-cultural and Cross-Disciplinary Perspectives in Social Gerontology”, Springer Nature, 2016. I have received competitive awards/grants to conduct research on family inequality and intergenerational relationships (Indian Council of Social Science Research, New Delhi, India), social capital and health (United Nations Population Fund, India), developing the Human Development Report of Ahmedabad (Gujarat) district (joint funded by United Nations Development Programme & Government of Gujarat) and recently, a research grant (University of California, San Diego, United States) to measure women’s empowerment. In my role as the lead P.I/author to these grants, I have led data collection efforts- household surveys as well as in-depth interviews. I have published my research in top peer-reviewed journals such as the Asian Population Studies (Taylor & Francis, forthcoming) and Contributions to Indian Sociology (SAGE, 2017), Aging & Social Policy (Taylor & Francis). I also regularly write academic commentaries drawing from my research and interest: For example, I have contributed a short reflection piece on culture and social capital in the International Network for Critical Gerontology (Canada) (see here ); I am a guest contributor to a popular  feminist academic blog, Kafila (my posts here and here); I am also a contributor to a popular science magazine in the Bangla language ( that aims to provide a nuanced yet “digestible” analysis of complex scientific theories and debates.
Finally, I have developed an active research program in gender and health at my current organization through close mentoring of doctoral and Masters’ students and contributing to capacity building of emerging researchers in theory, methods and policy.
Much like my research, I often adopt interdisciplinary approaches to teach a range of courses: undergraduate offerings such as Demography: theories and social processes, Introduction to Global Sociology and graduate level courses including Disease, Health and Inequality; Anthropological and Sociological Perspectives (co-teach) and Families in Late Modernity.  I have been a recipient of the Distinguished Teaching Award at IITGN..