Devika Narayan

Sociology | University of Minnesota 

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 leading center in the history of computing. My dissertation is titled, 'Between the Cloud and a Hard Place: A study of digital technologies and emerging industrial logics.'

My work examines the changing structure of markets, new digital platforms, and 

the emergent workplace structures that shapes contemporary capitalism. I am particularly curious about managerial practices and workplace transformations in contexts of industrial upheaval. My dissertation investigates the restructuring of India's globally networked software industry.  In parallel to my dissertation work, I am involved with collaborative research projects that focus on finance, real estate, and urban governance in India. Taken together, the research and teaching areas I engage with include:

economic sociology

sociology of work

digital sociology 

industrial sociology


labor studies 

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 am a recipient of the Don Martindale Award, given by the department of sociology to students 'who have demonstrated excellence in scholarship and achievement' throughout their graduate school career.


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 and Water International, and is currently being reviewed by journals in the fields of economic sociology and urban studies. 


As an instructor and teaching assistant, 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. 

I hold 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. 

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© 2018 Devika Narayan