External Awards

  • Best Article Award (American Sociological Association, Soc of Develelopment, 2022), Paper title: Through the Optics of Finance: Speculative Urbanism and the Transformation of Markets (with Michael Goldman).  ​

CommentsThe committee found that the authors had accomplished the challenging task of writing on a double register so as to present empirical findings that both mattered for their particular case and were readily transformable into insights applicable for development researchers. They moreover noted the substantial takeaway, that southern economies are not inevitable – or non-agential – sites of financial domination, but rather themselves composed of dominating forces acting within transnational and supranational networks of speculation and finance. Lauding its outstanding analysis of a complex and often opaque set of processes and extensive research with difficult-to-reach actors, the committee was convinced of the paper’s significant implications for (under)development certain be read widely in the field.

  • Best Article Award (International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 2021) Paper Title: Through the Optics of Finance: Speculative Urbanism and the Transformation of Markets (with Michael Goldman). 

  • Kauffman Foundation Award for Best Student Paper in Economic Sociology and Entrepreneurship (American Sociological Association, 2021) Paper Title: New organizational forms and market dynamics in the corporate computing industry.

  • Caroline Rose Best Graduate Student Paper Award. (Sociologists of Minnesota). Paper Title: The Structural Liminality of Disposable Managers: An analysis of precarity.

  • Best Student Paper Award, Section: Communication, Information Technologies, and Media Sociology. American Sociological Association. Paper Title: Between the Cloud and a Hard Place: How new computing infrastructures fuel asset-light economies. 

Comments: This fascinating paper pushes the current discussion on the digital economy beyond the focus on a small number of high-profile, digital firms such as Uber and Facebook and suggests that computing infrastructures and corporate logics are changing more broadly. Drawing on 15 months of fieldwork in India as well as an analysis of 110 in-depth interviews with employees, executives, managers, and other professionals in an off-shore IT industry, Narayan convincingly argues that the focus on new technological capabilities obscures the fact that there have been foundational changes in the organizational as well as distributional aspects of computing power, and that these changes require scholars to expand their theoretical understandings of platform capitalism and the new digital economy. Here, Narayan brings together computing studies and economic sociology in order to offer one way of conceptualizing a quickly changing and increasingly asset-light global economy. The CITAMS Best Student Paper Award Committee is pleased to recognize Devika Narayan’s paper, which the committee members agree was methodologically innovative, meticulously analyzed, and excellently written.

University Awards

  • Honorable Mention, The Best Dissertation 2021 (Social/Behavioral Sciences & Education, University of Minnesota)

  • Don Martindale Award: For excellence in scholarship and achievement throughout the sociology graduate student career. (UMN).

  • Outstanding Graduate Research Paper (Sociology Research Institute, UMN). Paper Title:  An analysis of cloud systems and the industrial effects of just-in-time infrastructures. 

Comments [Abridged]: This strikes [us] as an extremely important piece that changes how we view the impact of technological change on work, unemployment, and the organizational structure and dynamics of IT companies. [We] found your critique of the dominant discourse, which highlights automation, artificial intelligence, and robots, and [the] argument that we need to pay more attention to less explicit dynamics that are restructuring the entire ecosystem and infrastructure of the IT sector, very persuasive.  

  • M.S.A. Rao. Memorial Medal for Academic Excellence in Research Methods (Delhi University).