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© 2018 Devika Narayan

Devika Narayan

Sociology | University of Minnesota 

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


My research and teaching interests lie in economic sociologydigital sociology, organization/management studies, and the sociology of work. I am deeply curious about the changing structure of corporations, new forms of labor, and the shifting financial logics that shape contemporary capitalism. 


My doctoral work focuses on how cloud platforms (owned by Amazon, Google, and Microsoft) precipitate a rupture in the software industry and threaten the organizational structures and work processes of offshore IT firms with large operations in India. In parallel to the threat posed to traditional IT companies, I also study the boom in VC funded cloud-enabled startups or platform companies. My dissertation shows how swiftly global demand for low-cost professional labor rises and wanes in the context of changing computing systems and an increasingly volatile business environment.


This research has won multiple awards and has been supported by competitive fellowships and grants. An article coming out of my dissertation on cloud computing received the “Best Student Paper Award” from the Section on Communication and Informational Technology and Media Sociology at the 2019 American Sociological Association conference. In 2018, it was also designated Outstanding Graduate Research Paper by the sociology department at 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 several publications. (e.g., MIT Technology Review, a prominent report on India’s employment patterns, and a United Nations Conference on Trade and Development “technical note”).