MOHAN J. DUTTA
Mohan J. Dutta (PhD, University of Minnesota, B. Tech (Honors), IIT Kharagpur) is the Director of CARE. He is also the Head of the Department of Communications and New Media (CNM), National University of Singapore (NUS), and an adjunct Professor with the Brian Lamb School of Communication, Purdue University, and the Center for Poverty and Health Inequities.
His research examines marginalization in contemporary health/healthcare, health care inequalities, the intersections of poverty and health experiences at the margins, political economy of global health policies, the mobilization of cultural tropes for the justification of neo-colonial health development projects, the meanings of health in the realms of marginalized experiences in highly underserved communities in the global South, and the ways in which participatory culture-centered processes and strategies are organized in marginalized contexts to bring about changes in neo-colonial structures of global oppression and exploitation. At the center of this work is the impetus on provincializing Eurocentric knowledge structures and developing locally-based health solutions through the participation of communities from the global margins in processes of change.
Based on his work on health and healthcare among indigenous communities in Eastern India, sex workers, migrant workers, rural communities and communities living in extreme poverty and drawing upon the key tenets of postcolonial and Subaltern Studies theories in the context of the social sciences, he put forth the key ideas of the culture-centered approach outlining culturally-based participatory strategies for addressing unequal health/healthcare policies and global disparities. Noted as one of the most prolific and highly cited scholars in health communication, he is the winner of the Lewis Donohew Outstanding Scholar in Health Communication award and the PRIDE award in public relations.
The culture-centered approach uses a combination of postcolonial deconstruction, resistive strategies for performance and dialogue-based reflexive participation to create entry points for listening to the voices of marginalized communities that have historically been stripped of agency in modernization discourse and constructed as recipients of messages of development targeted by experts located in the global North. At the core of his research agenda is the activist emphasis on provincializing Eurocentric knowledge structures, and de-centering hegemonic knowledge constructions through subaltern participation.
He has received over $2 million in funding to work on culture-centered projects of health communication and health advocacy. Currently, he is working on a $1.5 million grant funded by the Agency for HealthCare Research & Quality (AHRQ) to develop a culturally-centered health communication project on heart disease among African American communities in the Lake and Marion counties of Indiana. Also, he was the Founding Director of the Center on Poverty and Health Inequities (COPHI) at Purdue University before arriving at NUS.
Dutta, M. (2011). Communication social change: Structure, culture, agency.
New York: Routledge.
Dutta, M. (2010). The critical cultural turn in Health Communication: Reflexivity, solidarity, and praxis. Health Communication, 25,
Dutta, M. (2008). Communicating health: A culture-centered approach.
London, UK: Polity Press.
Dutta, M. (2007). Communicating about culture and health: Theorizing culture-centered and cultural-sensitivity approaches. Communication Theory, 17,
(A complete list of Dutta's work can be found here