Devika Narayan


I am a doctoral candidate in the Department of Sociology at the University of Minnesota. I am also a Fellow at the Interdisciplinary Center for the Study of Global Change and a Resident at the Charles Babbage Institute, a center for computing history. 

My work examines the changing structure of markets, new digital platforms, and the emergent workplace structures that shape contemporary capitalism. I am particularly interested in managerial practices and workplace transformations in the technology sector. My dissertation titled Between the cloud and a hard place: a study of industrial transformation in the platform age, investigates the technological, organizational, and workplace shifts catalyzed by the rise of cloud infrastructure. I focus on the restructuring of India's globally networked software industry.  


In parallel to my dissertation work, I am involved with NSF - funded collaborative research projects that focus on finance, real estate, and urban governance in India. I study how global private equity alters local real estate practices and introduces new business logics. Taken together, the research and teaching areas I engage with include:

Economic sociology

Sociology of work

Digital economy 

Management studies 

Industrial sociology


Computing history 

Urban studies  


My work has won multiple awards and has been supported by competitive fellowships and grants. In 2019, my paper on new digital infrastructures received a Best Student Paper Award from the American Sociological Association

(section: communication and information technology and media sociology). I have been awarded both the Interdisciplinary Doctoral Fellowship and the Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship by the University of Minnesota. I have presented my research at numerous conferences in Europe, the U.S, and India, and it has been featured in publications such as MIT Technology Review, the State of Working India report, and a United Nations Conference on Trade and Development 'technical note.' My work has been published by Economic and Political Weekly, Water International, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research and is currently being reviewed by journals in the fields of sociology of work, economic geography and media studies. 


As an instructor, I emphasize critical and creative thinking, helping students make sense of a perplexing and unequal social world. I look forward to continuing to mentor students and teach courses that draw from social theory and economic sociology. 

Here is a brief profile by the University of Minnesota's Graduate School. 


I have an M.Phil. and M.A. in Sociology from the Delhi School of Economics and a B.A. (Sociology) from St. Xavier's College, Bombay.