Supuni Liyanagunawardena


PhD Candidate in Sociology

Supervisors: Professor Kevin dew and Professor Antonia Lyons

In the (bio)medicalized world that we live in, medications have become a part of people’s lives. As interesting as it is, existing knowledge on social aspects of medicine is largely based on research carried out in a few developed western countries. My study seeks to contribute to sociological literature through an exploration of medications within rural households in Sri Lanka, a developing country in the global south, which is my home country.

Sri Lanka has a diversified therapeutic landscape comprising of indigenous medicine, (Indian) Ayurvedic medicine as well as Western biomedicine. In this context, the household becomes an interesting interface where medications entangle with state policy, biomedical dominance, indigenous knowledges, post-colonial national identity and the close relationships of a tight-knit community. Based on qualitative interviews, I intend to explore the socio-material relationalities of medication practices as embedded in the everyday life within rural households.