Isha Bhatnagar

Ph.D. Candidate, Development Sociology

Research focus

  • Gender
  • Family Dynamics
  • Aging
  • South Asia


I am interested in understanding how we can address gender inequality and celebrate the contribution made by our daughters. In my dissertation, I specifically explore how son preference is influenced by differential experiences of the gender system and the ways in which it is tied to perceptions of aging. Prior to joining Cornell, I worked with the Population Council on various formative and quasi-experimental research projects to address family health with behavior change communication in north India.

I hold two Masters degrees, in Development Sociology (Cornell University) and Sociology (Jawaharlal Nehru University). I completed my B.A. in Sociology (Honors) from Lady Shri Ram College, University of Delhi. I also hold a postgraduate Diploma in Radio and Television Journalism from the Indian Institute of Mass Communication, New Delhi.

Committee members


  • Bhatnagar, I. (2020). Practising pragmatism: The framing of gender among development professionals in India. Indian Journal of Gender Studies, 27(1), 101–126.
  • Dixit, A., Khan, M.E., Bhatnagar, I. (2015). Mainstreaming of emergency contraception pill in India: Challenges and opportunities. Indian Journal of Community Medicine, 40(1): 49-55.
  • Bhatnagar, I., Khan, M.E. & Hazra, A. (2013). Increasing postpartum contraception in rural Bihar. In M.E. Khan, F. Donnay, U.K. Tarigopula & K. Aruldas (Eds.), Shaping demand and practices to improve family health outcomes: Findings from a quantitative survey, designing a behavior change communication strategy in India, Volume 3: Bihar (pp. 128-164). Population Council.

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