About Me

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Nandita Chaudhary, Ph. D.

Nandita Chaudhary is an independent scholar in the field of cultural developmental psychology, living and working in India. She is a consultant and collaborator for projects, programmes and publications on Child Development, Family Studies and Cultural Psychology in India, with local as well as global relevance. She blogs at Masala Chai: Musings about little people https://masalachaimusings.com/. She has taught at Lady Irwin College, University of Delhi. She has been a Fulbright Scholar at Clark University, USA, and Senior Fellow of the Indian Council for Social Science Research. She has also taught at the Department of Psychology at Ahmedabad University for one term and is now proceeding the Federal University of Bahia, Salvador, Brazil, for a Visiting Professorship in Cultural Psychology from March 2023.

Nandita Chaudhary taught at the University of Delhi, Lady Irwin College from 1982 – 2017. She continues to supervise doctoral dissertations at the College. She has been a Fulbright scholar at the Psychology Department, Clark University, USA, during the years 1993 – 94, and was awarded a Senior Fellowship of the ICSSR (Indian Council for Social Science Research) from 2012 - 2014. Nandita has participated in international collaborations in the area of culture, children’s development and family studies, and has supervised research from India, Denmark, Germany, Brazil and the US. She has also been an advisor to scholars, University departments, national and international agencies, and legal services in matters related to childhood and family in India. She is an expert for the Delhi High Court Mediation Centre for cases involving child custody.

Nandita is the author of ‘Listening to Culture: Constructing reality from everyday talk’ (2004, Sage), and has co-edited five volumes: ‘Resistance in Everyday life: Constructing cultural experiences’ (2017, Springer), ‘Cultural psychology and its future: Complementarity in a new key’ (2014, Information Age), ‘Cultural realities of being: Abstract ideas within everyday lives’ (2013, Routledge), ‘Dynamic process methodology in the social and developmental sciences’ (2009, Springer), and ‘Researching families and children: Culturally appropriate methods’ (2008, Sage). She has authored several chapters in books and journals. She is an Associate Editor for the journal Culture & Psychology and is on the editorial board of three other journals. She has written several chapters and articles on childhood, family life and education in India; and is currently working on a publication emerging from two years of ethnographic research with young children in Northern India. She is actively involved public awareness campaigns regarding cultural issues in parenting. Additionally, she is passionate about photography, especially of children and families, as well as nature. Reading, writing, sketching and travel are her other interests.

From March 2023, Nandita has been invited as Visiting Professor to the Department of Cultural Psychology at the Federal University of Bahia, Salvador, Bahia, Brazil, for a period of two years.

Recent Publications

Chapters in Books and Journals:

Scheidecker, G., Tekola, B., Rasheed, M., Oppong, S., Mezzenzana, F., Keller, H., & Chaudhary, N. (2023). Ending epistemic exclusion: toward a truly global science and practice of early childhood development. Lancet Child Adolesc Health, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/S2352-4642(23)00292-4. Download

Funk, L., Scheidecker, G., Chapin, B., Schmidt, W. J., El Ouardani, C., Chaudhary, N. (In Print). Feeding, Bonding, and the Formation of Social Relationships: Ethnographic Challenges to Attachment Theory and Early Childhood Interventions. Cambridge Elements.

Chaudhary, N. (In Print). The inscrutable Indians: Why we don’t fit in Psychology’s neo-colonial model. NAOP proceedings. National Association of Psychology, India.

Chaudhary, N. (In press). Early Childhood Education in Contemporary Indian Society: Finding Meaning through Cultural Traditions and Developmental Science. Chinmaya Vishwa Vidyalaya, Kochi, Kerala, India.

Chaudhary, N. Tuli, M., & Pillai, P. (In Print). Variables as obstacles to psychological science: Finding humanness beneath, between and beyond conventional categories. In D. Mihalits, B. Wagoner & J. Valsiner (Eds.) Farewell to variables. Book Series: Unifying science, culture, and society. Information Age.

Scheidecker, G., Chaudhary, N., Keller, H., Mezzenzana, F., Lancy, D. (2023). “Poor Brain Development” in the Global South? Challenging the Science of Early Childhood Interventions. Ethos, DOI: 10.1111/etho.12379

Scheidecker, G., Chaudhary, N., Oppong, S., Röttger-Rössler, B., & Keller, H. (2022). Different is not deficient: Respecting diversity in early childhood development. The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health. DOI: https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanchi/article/PIIS2352-4642(22)00277-2/fulltext

Chaudhary, N., Misra, G., Valsiner, J., Bansal, P. & Singh, T. (2022). Making sense of culture for the psychological sciences. Review of General Psychology. https://doi.org/10.1177/10892680211066473

Chaudhary, N. & Gupta, D. (2022). Understanding prosocial behavior through pictures. In, Courageous methods in cultural psychology. Series Theory and history in social and human sciences. (pp. 71-90). New York, NY: Springer.

Chaudhary, N., Kapoor, S. & Pillai, P. (2021). “It was peers and playgrounds that were missing, not play”: Young children in Northern Indian homes during the Pandemic. International Journal of Play. https://doi.org/10.1080/21594937.2021.2005397

Chaudhary, N., Gupta, D. & Kapoor, S. (2021). Social conventions and moral obligations in young children’s care: Illustrations from rural families of Northern India. Psychology and Developing Societies. https://doi.org/10.1177/09713336211038826

Chaudhary, N. (2021). Local ideas for a global science: The journey from Indian Psychology to Cultural Psychology. In, B. Wagoner, B. A. Christiansen, & C. Demuth, (Eds.), Culture in process: A tribute to Jaan Valsiner. Chapter 26. New York: Springer. Local Ideas for a Global Science: The Journey from Indian Psychology to Cultural Psychology | SpringerLink

Chaudhary, N. (2021). From local evidence to global science and onward to local practice in a post-pandemic world: The journey of family intervention programs in India. In S. V. Klempe, O. V. Lehmann, & B. L. Knizek (Eds.) Ethical based practices: A theoretical foundation. Annals of Theoretical Psychology Series (Editors: C. W. Gruber, J. Valsiner, M. G. Clark, & Klempe, S. H. New York, NY: Springer. Foundation of Ethics-Based Practices | SpringerLink

CScheidecker, G., Oppong, S., Chaudhary, N., & Keller, H. (2021). How overstated scientific claims undermine ethical principles in parenting interventions. British Journal of Medicine. BMJ Global Health2021;6:e007323. doi:10.1136/bmjgh-2021-007323 haudhary, N. (In Print). The inscrutable Indians: Why we don’t fit in Psychology’s neo-colonial model. NAOP proceedings. National Association of Psychology, India.

Chaudhary, N. (2021). Intimate encounters with the sense of self. In, M. E. Molina, G. Marsico, C. Cornejo, & J. Valsiner (Eds.). Intimacy: The shared part of me. Book Series: The Annals of Cultural Psychology. Series Editor J. Valsiner. Charlotte, NC: Information Age.

Chaudhary, N. & Sriram, S. (2021). Towards A culturally rooted human science: Prospects of Psychology for India. In G. Misra (Ed.), History of Psychology in India. New Delhi: Springer. Psychology in Modern India | SpringerLink

Chaudhary, N. (with Tuli, M. & Raees, A.). (2021). Developmental Psychology: Moving Beyond the East–West Divide. In, J. Zumbach, D. A. Bernstein, S. Narciss, & G. Marsico (Eds.), International handbook of learning and teaching. Springer International Handbooks on Education. New York, NY: Springer. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-26248-8_14-2

Chaudhary, N. (2021). The sense of a pandemic: tests, trials and turbulence in the Indian subcontinent. In I. Strasser, & M. Dege (Eds.), The Psychology of global crises and crisis politics - Intervention, resistance, decolonization. New York: Springer. The Sense of a Pandemic: Test, Trials, and Turbulence in the Indian Subcontinent | SpringerLink

Chaudhary, N., Sriram, S., & Valsiner, J. (2021). Cultural Psychology and human development. Oxford Bibliographies. DOI: Cultural psychology and human development - Childhood Studies - Oxford Bibliographies

Chaudhary, N. & Sriram, S. (2020). Musings about metaphors and models: The need to put Psychology together again. Integrative Psychological and Behavioural Science, https://doi.org/10.1007/s12124-020-09575-8

Chaudhary, N. (2020). The science and ethics of intervention programmes in family and child welfare: Towards building an inclusive psychology for social justice. Human Arenas, 3(2), 155-171.

Chaudhary, N. & Sriram, S. (2020). Psychology in the ‘backyards of the world’: Experiences from India. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 51(2), 113-133.

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Presentations 2020

Speaker (With Punya Pillai), Methods in cultural research. Workshop on Introduction to Cross-Cultural Psychology. IACCP SPARK Series. Organised by IIT Delhi, Psychology Department. December 16, 2022.

Speaker, A Cultural Understanding of Infancy and Early Childhood. Session title: Global Perspectives on Infant Mental Health. Lecture series on Infant Early Mental Health. Session 13. Organised by Infant and Early Mental Health Promotion (IEMPH) Canada.

Discussant, Evolving Culturally Grounded Perspectives in Psychology: Viewpoints from the South Asian Region. Invited Symposium organized at the IACCP Virtual Conference, July 13th, 2022. Chair: Shagufa Kapadia.

Speaker, Reimagining Psychology: Roles and Limits of human sciences in a Post-Coronial World. Seminar on Different strokes: Sculpting New Contours of Psychology in the Post Pandemic World. Lady Shriram College, University of Delhi, March 12, 2022.

Invited lecture, Examining the impact of Covid-19: A community psychology lens. At the Annual Academic Conference of the Students’ Union, Lady Shriram College, Zeitgeist. Department of Psychology, Lady Shriram College, University of Delhi. March 12th, 2022.

Invited lecture Cognition and Learning: Evolutionary, Developmental and Cultural Overview. 29th October, 2021. School of Social Science, National Institute of Advanced Studies, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore.

Invited lecture Finding our way back to school: Reflections on post-coronial possibilities in ECE. 22nd Memorial Lecture in honour of Prof. Ram Joshi, organized by South Indian Education Society (SIES), Mumbai. 23rd October, 2021. The 22nd Dr. Ram Joshi Memorial Lecture (23/10/2021 @11am) - YouTube

Presentation on Strengthening intergenerational relations in the present and post-coronial world. Wellness Series, Gargi College, Department of Psychology, University of Delhi, 8th July, 2021.

Plenary Presidential Address ‘Is the Mother Essential for Attachment? Reflections on fungibility and plurality in the care of infants.’ Title of the session: The Cultural Nature of Early Relationships and Development at the World Association for Infant Mental Health (WAIMH), Brisbane, Australia. June 26, 2021. WAIMH2021 17th World Congress: Creating stories in Infant Mental Health: research, recovery and regeneration

Lecture (Online) on Contextualizing relationships and development: Families through the lens of culture. Cultural Psychology Summer School. University of Luxembourg. June 15-17, 2021.

Discussant. Panel on Feeding and the formation of social relationships in childhood. First Biennial Conference of the European Network for Psychological Anthropology. Online. Hosted by University of Helsinki, Finland.

Lecture, 19th April, 2021, National Online Refresher Course in Psychology, Ramanujan College University of Delhi, New Delhi. Childhood from a cultural psychological perspective. Link to video: ONLINE REFRESHER COURSE In PSYCHOLOGY - YouTube

Lecture, 9th April, 2021. Culturally relevant methodologies and ethically responsive practices in Social Science Research. Online Refresher course on Ethics, Institute of Home Economics, University of Delhi, New Delhi

Lecture, Childhood from a cultural psychological perspective: From intersectionality to interdependence. Department of Sociology, Calcutta University and Hiralal Mazumdar Memorial College for Women. ICSSR sponsored symposium Online, September 12, 2020.

Webinar, 28th August, 2020. Webinar, American Psychological Association. Consequences of a crisis: Why it is even more evident that there can be no psychology without culture. APA International Psychology, Div. 52. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IkClPpQGTb8&feature=youtu.be&fbclid=IwAR3cesj0uF0GbA33JMaL3c1AREtpMBEF5BBBK4aJbm398FLHWxcfCH65J5o

Webinar, 4th August, 2020, NAOP Webinar A conversation with Jaan Valsiner on the event of being awarded the APA for Outstanding Contribution to International Psychology. Moderator and Organiser for discussion between Prof. Girishwar Misra, Prof. Parul Bansal and Prof. Jaan Valsiner. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lIsjsWarOqQ&feature=youtu.be&fbclid=IwAR2AV_he057j2Ycx62W6GxVHDl5i3IXOAwO-4O5LTuOlfWBu--xkLEXVUfs

Webinar, 22nd July, 2020. Science and ethics in a post-coronial society: Students’ responsibilities. Presentation at Department of Human Development and Childhood Studies, Lady Irwin College, University of Delhi. http://masalachaimusings.com/2020/07/24/science-and-ethics-in-a-post-coronial-society-students-responsibilities/

Webinar, 10th July, 2020. NAOP Webinar. Psychosocial impact of COVID-19 Pandemic: Challenges and the way forward. National Academy of Psychology. With Prof. Saths Cooper, Prof. Janak Pandey and Dr. Tushar Singh. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ecqohvY85-o

Webinar, 30th May, 2020. Crisistalk. Online Panel Discussion on Psychology-Crisis-Action: How do we situate ourselves as academics vis-à-vis times of crisis. American University of Paris. Paris, France. May 20th – May 30th, 2020. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ktD_Z7hqQko

Webinar, 19th May, 2020. Keynote presentation on The sense of a pandemic: Tests, trials and turbulence in the Indian subcontinent. Online conference on The Psychology of Global Crises, American University of Paris. Paris, France. May 20 – May 30, 2020. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=auVW-Ue-HYA&t=10s

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University of Copenhagen visiting scholar in Life-Course Studies, October 2014

Senior Fellow, Indian Council for Social Sciences Research, New Delhi, 2012 – 2014

UGC Major Research Grant for research project on ‘Childhood in different communities: An ethnographic study”, 2010 – 2013

Witkin Okonji Award, International Association for Cross-cultural Psychology, 2000 and 2008

ICSSR (Indian Council for Social Science Research) Award, 2000 and 2006

University Grants Commission (India) Award, 2000 and 2006

Spencer Foundation Small Grant Award for research study, “The Impact of Early Language Input on Children’s Discourse: Implications for School Participation”. Jointly with Prof. Nancy Budwig, Department of Psychology, Clark University, Worcester, MA, USA, 1995

Fulbright Award for pre-doctoral study at Clark University, Worcester, MA, USA, 1993

Award for Dissertation grant, Indian Council for Social Sciences Research, Government of India, 1992

University Grants Commission award for doctoral study with full salary and seniority benefits, 1991

University of Delhi Gold Medal for first rank in Masters’ in Child Development. University of Delhi, 1978

Research projects

Ongoing, Independent project: Family life and childhood in Indian communities: Accidental ethnographies in collaboration with like-minded and enthusiastic scholars.

2014 - 2016, Collaborator, Cross-national study on ‘The influence of socialization goals and practices on the development of pro-social behaviour in the toddler years: A cross-cultural study’. Project Director: Prof. Joscha Kärtner, Department of Psychology, University of Muenster, Muenster, Germany.

2013 – 2016, Member, Technical Work Group. Odisha Impact Study on ECE. International Children’s Fund, New Delhi

October 2014, Life-course studies collaboration with Pernille Hviid, Department of Psychology, University of Copenhagen

2014, Member, Consultative group, Research project on Framework for social and emotional learning for Indian schools. The Teacher Foundation, Bangalore, Karnataka.

2012 – 2014, Principal Investigator, Research project ‘Self and Identity of the young child: Emerging trends in contemporary Indian families’, Senior Fellowship, Indian Council for Social Science Research, New Delhi

2010 – 2012, Principal Investigator, Research project ‘Parent beliefs, socialisation practices and children’s development in Indian families’. Major Grants, University Grants Commission, New Delhi

2010 – 2014, Member, Research Advisory Committee, Qualitative study of ECE centres. CECED, Ambedkar University, New Delhi

2010, Advisor, Research methods training for doctoral and research scholars, Ambedkar University

2010 – 2013, Collaborator, International project on ‘Decision making in Everyday life’, Prof. Lawrence Steinberg, Temple University, Philadelphia, USA.

2008 – 2010, Member Steering Committee for the Advanced Research Training Seminar. Collaboration of the International Association for Cross-Cultural Psychology, International Association for Applied Psychology and International Union of Psychologists.

2008 – 2010, Collaborator, International project (National Institute of Health, USA) with Prof. Jennifer Lansford, Centre for Child and Family Policy, Duke University, for a study on ‘Parent Behaviour and Child Adjustment Across Cultures’.

Report ICSSR Report UGC


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Nandita Chaudhary (née Sindhu)