Parul Bhandari was a Post Doctoral Researcher at CSH from 2014-2016. Thereafter she was an affiliated researcher until December 2018. She was also a Visiting Scholar at St. Edmund’s College and the Centre for South Asian Studies (CSAS), University of Cambridge, UK. She has also held Guest Faculty positions at the Department of Sociology, Delhi School of Economics, and the Indian Institute of Technology, (IIT), Delhi. Dr. Bhandari completed her MPhil and PhD in Sociology from the University of Cambridge. Her PhD was supported by the Cambridge Commonwealth Trust. Her main research interests lie in the field of social class (middle class and elites), gender, marriage, and family. Her doctoral thesis explains the makings of middle class identities through the processes of spouse-selection. Her research interest is in providing an in-depth understanding of the various aspects of modern matchmaking in New Delhi. Here, her focus is not only on the experiences and opinions of the marrying individuals but also on the involvement of family, the role of modern matchmakers as of matrimonial websites and matrimonial bureaus, and crucially, of pre-marital romantic relationships. She explains the specific ways in which middle class identities are constituted, invoked, and reiterated in these experiences and processes of matchmaking. For her post-doctoral research she has shifted attention to the study of elites, particularly the rich housewives of Delhi, focusing on their relationship with money and exploring the themes of honour and humiliation in their everyday lives.

Recent Publications:

1. Exploring Indian Modernities: Ideas and Practices (ed) by Parul Bhandari and Leïla Choukroune (Springer, Singapore, 2018).

2. Makings of Modern Marriage: Choice, Family, and the Matchmakers by Parul Bhandari and Leïla Choukroune (ed) ‘Exploring Indian Modernities: Ideas and Practices’ (Springer, forthcoming).

3. ‘Introduction’ in Changing Family Realities in South Asia (ed) by Parul Bhandari and Fritzi-Marie Titzmann in South Asia Multidisciplinary Academic Journal (SAMAJ, issue 16, 2017).

4. Pre-Marital Relationships and the Family in Modern India’ in Parul Bhandari and Fritzi-Marie Titzmann (ed) special issue Changing Family Realities in South Asia in South Asia Multidisciplinary Academic Journal (SAMAJ, issue 16, 2017).

5. Towards a Sociology of Elites: Marriage Alliances, Vulnerabilities, and Resistance in Bollywood in ‘Society and Culture in South Asia’, Vol 3, Issue 1, January 2017.

1. BBC Worldservice “Crowdscience” Does Technology Change the way we fall in Love?

2. “Inside the BIg Fat Indian Wedding” The Conversation.

3. “Inside India’s Elite Kitty Parties”. Quartz.

4. “If Only Daddy Says ‘Yes'”. The Indian Express.

5. Schooled for the Big Day“. Channel NewsAsia.


Dr. Parul Bhandari has been quoted in  several magazine articles and books, including:
– “Le mariage indien a l’epreuve du net” (01NET)
– James Crabtree’s book “The Billionaire Raj”.



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