Global Nutrition Policy, Nutrition-Sensitive Agriculture, and the Gendered and Affective Politics of Health in India
AuthorNichols, Carly E.
Health and Wellbeing
AdvisorDel Casino, Vincent
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction, presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
EmbargoRelease after 08/08/2021
AbstractRecently, the issue of nutrition has ascended the development agenda with a focus on the first 1,000 days of life (the point of conception to age two) as a critical time for intervention so as to secure not just the health of the individual but also optimal global economic futures. Promulgated by high-profile issues of the medical journal The Lancet, development agencies have taken to addressing what has been coded as nutrition-specific (individual, bio-medical) and nutrition-sensitive (i.e. structural, socio-economic) solutions. My dissertation asks: how has The Lancet- enshrined narratives around nutrition come to matter in the context of India. I answer this question through a suite of qualitative methods that includes policy interviews, textual analysis, and a 12-month ethnographic study of a particular nutrition-agriculture program that was carried out in two districts of central and eastern India. I contextualize this data in chapter two through providing historical context that details the long-held tensions in colonial and post-colonial state spaces between commitments to rational, scientific state planning and strong socialist and egalitarian imperatives. The first paper (appendix A) examines the policy narratives of this new nutrition agenda, and traces how they come to circulate amongst Indian policy actors. I analyze the construction and circulation of the ‘1,000-day’ discourse using the concept of contingency, both as a way to signal radical open-ended (yet foreclosed) futurity and as everyday geographic difference and emergent life. This paper's main argument is that while the threat/opportunity of future contingency drives 1,000-days, it is simultaneously geographical contingency that complicates the ways it materializes in the particular space of India. The second paper (appendix B) examines the spatialities of responsibility within a series of body-mass index (BMI) camps that were carried out across rural India as a key health promotion practice to alert women of their health status. I find that the BMI is not an a priori technology of neoliberal governmentality, but can be a powerful means to highlight social marginalization and create new communities of care. I argue that the spaces of BMI deployment are tightly linked to the types of responsibility and care it produces, and that this has clear implication for the production of more ethical forms of health promotion. The third paper (appendix C) takes body-rice relations as its focal point and develops an integrated political ecology of health framework to analyze the multifaceted complexities of the way people interact with their principal crop rice and how it inflects both subject formation and health. This paper reviews how social science tends to analyze dietary practice within the realms of political economic structure, social constructionism, and more recently in the visceral, sensing body. I argue that integrating socio-ecologies/biologies is critical to better understand rice-human interactions and their health implications. To this end, I develop an integrated PEH framework that takes structure, social constructionism, and both dominant views of materiality—the affective/sensorial and the socio-biological-- and holds them in analytical tension. My primary aim in advancing an integrated PEH framework is, thus, to offer a way to allow for biological analysis within dietary health, without becoming deterministic.
Degree ProgramGraduate College