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Steve Derne Professor of Sociology, State University of New York (SUNY), Geneseo

Steve Derné is Professor of Sociology at the State University of New York at Geneseo. He has received fellowships from the Fulbright program (1986–1987, 2012), the Rockefeller Foundation (2002), the National Endowment for the Humanities (1997, 2005), and the American Institute of Indian Studies (1991). In five research stints over 30 years, he has conducted 31 months of fieldwork in India. His previous books explore family life and emotion in India (Culture in Action, 1995), filmgoing in India (Movies, Masculinity, and Modernity, 2000), and cultural, economic, and family changes since India’s economic liberalization (Globalization on the Ground, SAGE, 2008). The interviews on well-being engaged him and the people he interviewed more than any of his previous studies in India.

Derné enjoys India’s people, food, music, religions, ambiance, and ways of life. He once lived in Banaras for 15 months, has been visiting the Himalayas for more than 30 years, and has completed a bus pilgrimage to Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath, and Badrinath. He has been to four jyotirlingas and discovered a fifth in North America! Insights and practices from life in India shape his daily life in the USA: He starts his morning with Indian tea, worships Lord Shiva atop a local hill, lives in walking distance of a samosa shop, and listens to ragas on his way to teach at university. He has kayaked off Burma in the Bay of Bengal, in Baja, California, and around the islets off the Hawaiian islands. One of his pleasures is riding horses fast in places like the Sahara, Patagonia, and the Genesee valley. He has ridden horses with his wife in Rajasthan and in Assam. He enjoys running every day, whether through crowded lanes in Indian cities or amidst the vibrant spring, steamy summer, colorful fall, or snowy winters of upstate New York. He lives in Rochester, New York, with his wife Lisa Jadwin and three cats.