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Isabel M. Salovaara

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Isabel M. Salovaara

In the Field
Research Interests: 
Anthropology of capitalism; urban space, place and built environments; infrastructure; mobilities; personhood; youth and adolescence; parallel education systems; moral anthropology; South Asia


My research explores the implications of India's large and varied tutoring, coaching, and test preparation institutions as sites for the production of personhood. I seek to understand how these parallel or "shadow" education systems both shape and respond to shifting material and moral economies in the context of post-liberalization urban India, and what they can teach us about the impact on young people of the increasing global emphasis on, and commodification of, scientific and technical training. During my graduate studies, I plan to conduct fieldwork in Kota, Rajasthan, a city where coaching centers for engineering and medical entrance examinations draw hundreds of thousands of students and have replaced manufacturing as the economic mainstay.

I received my A.B. in History summa cum laude from Harvard University and completed my M.Phil. in Social Anthropology as a Gates Scholar at the University of Cambridge. I have conducted research on supplemental education systems and practices in Delhi, India through a Fulbright Fellowship. Prior to beginning my Ph.D. program, I taught fieldwork methods and introductory social science courses for two years at O.P. Jindal Global University in Sonipat, India.