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Dr Aditya Ray

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Professional biography

Aditya Ray is an ESRC funded postdoctoral research fellow in the Faculty of Social Sciences (FASS). He holds a PhD in Human Geography from Queen Mary University of London and Master's degrees in Development Studies and German Studies. Aditya's research interests lie at the broad intersections of digital labour work, and technology studies, urban geography and development. For his PhD, Aditya conducted an ethnographic research project, exploring the labour geographies of India's new services economy, focusing on the working lives of domestic-facing outsourcing workers in the city of Pune. As the ESRC research fellow of the Grand Union DTP (aligned to UK government's industrial strategy), Aditya is extending his PhD research through publications, research communication and impact development activities in the UK, North America and India.

Alongside above engagements, Aditya is also conducting research on new aspects of India's digital economy and its further expansion to Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities and towns, collaborating with key research and industry partners there. His latest research looks at documenting experiences of migrant gig workers in Eastern India affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Research interests

Identity, Inclusion and Exclusion in the Digital Economy; Hybrid Labour Geographies of the Global South; Notions of Professionalism and its Subjective Purchase in the New Economy; Social Infrastructures of IT-oriented Development beyond Megacity Fringes; Postcolonial, and Heterodox Critique of Classical Approaches to Modernisation and Development; Ethnography; Methodological Innovations in Research; Positionality and Ethics in Research Practice

Teaching interests

Aditya has a keen interest in teaching. Aditya is an external supervisor for the MA Digital Media and Society Programme at the School of Sociological Studies, University of Sheffield. He has previously contributed to teaching and evaltion of several undergraduate modules in the School of Geography at Queen Mary University of London, including those dealing with Research Methods and Practice, Economic Geography, Global Development, Reinventing Britain, and Geography in the World. Aditya has also assisted undegraduate field-visits and delivered lectures on invitation.

 

Impact and engagement

Publications

Ray, A. (2020). Judith Bessant, The Great Transformation: History for a Techno-Human Future. Competition & Change. https://doi.org/10.1177/1024529420905276

Ray, A. (2020). Book Review: Enda Brophy, Language Put to Work: The Making of the Global Call Centre Workforce. Work, Employment and Society. https://doi.org/10.1177/0950017020913226

Ray, A. (2019). Unrest in India’s Gig Economy: Ola-Uber Drivers’ Strikes and Worker Organisation. Futures of Work. Volume 10 [online] Available at: https://futuresofwork.co.uk/2019/12/09/unrest-in-indias-gig-economy-ola-uber-drivers-strikes-and-worker-organisation/

Ray, A. (In Press) IT-Oriented Infrastructures, Urban Co-dependencies, and Reconfiguration of Spatial Poltics in Pune, India, Urban Planning Journal, Jan 2021 (Early view, Available on Request)

Submitted

Labour Geographies of India’s New Services: Conceptualising Agency Beyond Binaries of Organisational Control and Resistance in Customer-Interactive Work (Under Review, Draft - Available on Request)

In Progress

Ray, A. and Karmakar, P. Locked Down and Locked Out: The 'double' displacement of India’s gig workers during Covid-19 and the enduring regimes of organised informality (for Special Issue, 2021 'Migration, Migrant Work(ers) in the Gig Economy', In. Environment and Planning-A).

Ray, A. Raghuram, P. & Sondhi, G. Exploring Micro-Spatial Geographies of Skilled Work and Mobility in the Global Tech Sector: A Composite-Comparative View of Transnational IT Workplaces 

Media

Understanding and Addressing India's Employment and Migrant Crisis in the Post-Covid Context. Interview discussion with Prof Amit Basole https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YKpSXafYAFw&feature=emb_logo

Grant Award

ESRC Postdoc Fellowship (2019-2021) https://gtr.ukri.org/projects?ref=ES%2FT009233%2F1

Recent Workshops and Conference Presentations

• September 2020: Speaker, 'Geographies of Work in the Pandemics and Beyond' - Virtual Seminar Series, Department of Cambridge. Video Link: https://www.geog.cam.ac.uk/research/projects/decentwork/events/

• August 2020: Organiser and Presenter for Paper Session ‘Labour, Work-Life and the Urban’, RGS-IBG 2020 Conference, London. (Postponed)

• July 2020: Attendee, 10th Summer Institute in Economic Geography, Montreal Canada (Postponed)

•June 2020: ‘Emerging Youth Subjectivities in Digital India’, The Royal Anthropological Institute and RGS Anthropology and Geography: Dialogues Past, Present and Future Conference, London, UK (Postponed to Septmber 2020)

•April 2020: Co-Organiser and Chair for Paper Session ‘Doing labour geography beyond the core' at the AAG, sponsored by the Economic Geography and Asian Geographies Research Group, Denver, USA (Postponed to April 2021)

•September 2019: Associated Infrastructures of India’s IT-oriented Services Economy at RC-21 Sociology of Urban & Regional Development Conference, Delhi, India

•August 2019: Extending the ‘Hybrid’ Economic/Development Geographies from the Global South at RGS-IBG Conference, London, UK

•June 2019:Re-Conceptualising Precarity 'from below': Labour Market Uncertainties and Work-Life Strategies of Domestic-Facing Call Centre Workers The Society for Socio-Economics (SASE) Annual Conference, The New School of Social Research, New York, USA

•March 2019: Gendered Working-Lives in India’s New Services, Gender and Working Lives Symposium, University of Cambridge, UK

•August 2018: Navigating 'New' Precarities: Labour Geographies of Lower-Middle Class Domestic-BPO Agents in an Emerging Metropolis at the RGS-IBG Conference, Cardiff, UK

•April 2018: Experiences of Employment, Training and Career-Building amongst Lower-Middle Class Youth in Pune’s Domestic-BPO Firms, The Annual American Associations of Geographers Conference in New Orleans, USA

Publications