I received my PhD from the University of Mumbai and M.Phil from the Delhi School of Economics. My doctoral thesis analyzed a variety of print propaganda in Tamil politics as instantiation of broader regional political culture. Before joining MSR India, in 2005, I lectured for several years at colleges in Delhi and Mumbai and have been part of the editorial team for the journal Economic and Political Weekly.
At MSR, my primary interests are the adoption and dissemination of information and communication technologies in emerging market spaces
Small businesses offering shared access internet, PC and mobile phone services: cyber cafés, computer training institutes, PC assembling and trouble shooting units, mobile phone hardware and software repairing units, networking and software servicing
Usages and sharing of media, communication and information technologies: The Internet/Mobile Internet, PCs, mobile phones and television
I conduct research in two contexts;
- The urban middle-class home were technology is shared as a way to pool resources and disseminate skill and usage
- The urban slum community were technology dissemination and appropriation are organic, intensely dynamic and a mix of formal and non-formal socio-economic relations
Journals and Book Chapters
Rangaswamy, N and Cutrell, E ( to appear), Anthropology, Development and ICTs: Slums, Youth and the Mobile Internet in Urban India, Special Issue ICTD Atlanta 2012, Information technology and International Development
Payal, A and Rangaswamy, N (to appear) , "Digital leisure for development: Reframing new media practice in the global south" , Media, Culture, society.
Rangaswamy, N and Cutrell, E (in press)Re-Sourceful Networks: Notes from a Mobile Social Networking Platform in India, Pacific Affairs, Fall, 2012
Rangaswamy, N and Nair, S (2012) The PC in an Indian Urban Slum: Enterprise and Entrepreneurship in ICT4D 2.0, Journal of Information Technology for Development, 18(2) PP 163-180
Rangaswamy, N. and Sambasivan, N (2011), Cutting chai, Jugaad, and Here Pheri: Towards a UbiComp for a Global community, Personal and Ubiquitous Computing 15(6) PP 553-564
Rangaswamy, N. and Nair, Sumitra (2010) The Mobile Phone Store Ecology in a Mumbai Slum Community: Hybrid Networks for Enterprise, Information technology and International Development 16(2) PP 51-65
Sambasivan N, Rangaswamy N, Toyama K, Nardi B, Encountering Development Ethnographically, forthcoming, ACM Interactions, November/December 2009
Rangaswamy, N (2009) The non-formal business of cyber cafes: a case-study from India, Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society, 7, (2/3) pp 136-145
Rangaswamy, N (2008) Telecentres and Cyber cafes: The case for ICTs in small business, Asian Journal of Communication, 18(4) pp 365-378
Donner, Jonathan. Rangaswamy, N., Steenson, M. W., & Wei, C. (2008). "Express yourself" / "Stay together": Tensions surrounding mobile communication in the middle-class Indian family. In J. Katz (Ed.), Handbook of mobile communication studies (pp 325- 337) Cambridge, MA: MIT Press
Rangaswamy, N, (2003). Disruptive IT in Sought India in Shaping Technologies: SARAI reader 03, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, Delhi
Rangaswamy, N (2013), Local Pocket Internet and Global Social Media Bridging the Digital Gap: Facebook and Youth Sub-Stratum in Urban India, IFIP WG 9.4: 12th International Conference on Social Implications of Computers in Developing Countries, Ocho Rios Jamaica, 19-22 May, 2013
Kumar, N and Rangaswamy, N (2013), The Mobile Media Actor-Network in Urban India, ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, Paris, April 2013
Rangaswamy, N (2013) Mobile Untamed: New Media in the digital shadow lands of India, Paper presented for the Panel, Media Change in India: Surging, Merging, Converging?, Association of Asian Studies, March, 21-24, Sandeigo, USA.
Nair, S and Rangaswamy, N ( 2012) 'De(coding) the poor: Towards a transparent and accountable NREGA information infrastructure', The Fifth International Federation for Information Processing (IFIP)World IT Forum (WITFOR), April 16-18, 2012
Rangaswamy, N and Cutrell, E (2012) Anthropology, Development and ICTs: Slums, Youth and the Mobile Internet in Urban India, 5th ACM/IEEE International Conference on information and communication technologies and development, Atlanta, Georgia, March 12-15, 2012
Rangaswamy, N and Nair, S (2012) The Marginal Rich Users in Urban Indian Slums, The 2012 ACM Conference on Computer Supported Collaborative Work, February 11-15, Seattle, Washington
Rangaswamy, N and Thomas, S (2012) Assembling and Aggregating Mobile Phones: The Social Ecology of Grey Mobile Phone Markets in Urban India ,3rd International Conference on Mobile Communication for Development, February 28-29 , New Delhi
Rangaswamy, N and Yamsani, S (2011) ‘Mental Kartha Hai’ or ‘Its Blowing my Mind’: Evolution of the Mobile Internet in an Indian Slum, The Ethnographic Praxis in Industry Conference, Boulder, CO, September 18-21
Rangaswamy, N. (2011), Short Message Social Networking and Emerging Digital Literacies: A Case-study from India, Proceedings of the Social Implications of Computers in Developing Countries, IFIP WG9.4 Conference, PP 464-475, May 22-25, Kathmandu, Nepal
Rangaswamy, N. (2011) Re-Sourceful networks: Notes from a Mobile Social Networking Platform in India, Celling South Asia: The Mobile Phone's Impact on a Region, February 17-18 2011, Singapore
Rangaswamy, N. (2011) The ‘Short Message Service’ Authors: Authoring Social Media in India, Panel on The Social Dimensions of Emerging Platforms, Emerging Platforms and Policies track, Digital Media Learning Conference, March 3-5 2011 Long Beach, CA
Sterling, R & Rangaswamy, N. (2010). Constructing Informed Consent in ICTD Research. Proceedings of ICTD 2010, the 4th ACM/IEEE International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies and Development, (London), IEEE.
Morawczynski, O., Hutchful, D., Rangaswamy, N. & Cutrell, E. (2010). The bank account is not enough: Examining strategies for financial inclusion in India. Proceedings of ICTD 2010, the 4th ACM/IEEE International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies and Development, (London), IEEE.
Light, A., Ladeira, I., Roberson,J., Bidwell, N J., Rangaswamy, N., Sambasivan, N., & Gitau, S. (2010) Gender Matters: Female Perspectives in ICT4D Research. Proceedings of ICTD 2010, the 4th ACM/IEEE International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies and Development, (London), IEEE.
Rangaswamy N (2010) The Chamber of dreams:The digital photo studio in India, International conference on Ethnogprahic Praxis in Industry, 28-1September, Tokyo
Rangaswamy N and Chowdhury I R (2010) ‘Micro-blogging and Mobile Chattering in India’, CHI 2010 Workshop on Micro blogging: What and How Can We Learn From It? 11 April 2010, Atlanta
Rangaswamy N and Nair Sumitra (2010) ‘The PC- aided Enterprise and Re-cycling ICT: An ICT for D Story?’, ICTs and Development : An International Workshop for Theory, Practice, Policy, 11-12 March 2010, New Delhi
Rangaswamy N, Nair, S, (2009)The Mobile Phone Store Ecology in a Mumbai Slum Community: Hybrid Networks for Enterprise, AiOR09Mobile Phones and the Developing World Pre-Conference Workshop, 7 October 2009, Milwaukee
Sambasivan N, Rangaswamy N, Cutrell E, Nardi B, (2009) Ubicomp4D: Infrastructure and Interaction for International Development—the Case of Urban Indian Slums, 11th International conference on Ubiquitous Computing, 30 September 2009 Orlando
Rangaswamy, N (2009) Keywords in Communication: Mesh-economy and business channels in an Indian urban slum, ICA 2009, pre-conference on India and Communication Studies, May 21 2009, Chicago
Rangaswamy, N (2009) ICT for Mesh-economy: Case study of an urban slum, IFIP 2009, May 26-28, Dubai
Rangaswamy, N (2009) Personalizing the shared mobile phone, panel paper on Mobile Money: Design for Inclusion, Internationalization, Design and Global development, HCII 2009, 19-24 July San Diego
Rangaswamy, N. Toyama, K (2009) Computing for Sustainable Socio-Economic Development, Panel on Internationalization, Design and Global development, HCII 2009, 19-24 July San Diego
Rangaswamy, N (2008) The rise of ICT for commerce in small product offerings: case studies from India, ACIS, Christchurch, December 2008
Rangaswamy, N (2008) My TV is the family oven/toaster/grill: Personalizing TV for the Indian audience, UXTV, San Francisco
Rangaswamy, N (2008) There is no entertainment without TV: Changing TV environments in India, EUROITV 2008, Salzburg,
Rangaswamy, N (2008) Telecentres and Cyber cafes: A case for ICT in small business", 58th Annual International Conference of the International Communication Association, Montreal
Rangaswamy, N (2007), "Representing the non-formal: The Business of Internet Cafes in India", International Conference on Ethnographic Praxis in Industry
Rangaswamy, N (2007, August 23) " Paying for ICT's: Allocating for a Changing Communication Repertoire in Middle Class Indian Homes", Paper presented at the panel on living and livelihoods at HOIT2007: Home/community oriented ICT for the next billion, IIT Madras, Chennai, India.
Rangaswamy, N, (2007) ICT for development and commerce: A case study of internet cafés in India, 9th International Conference on Social Implications of Computers in Developing Countries, Sao Paulo, Brazil, May 2007
Rangaswamy, N, (2006) Social Entrepreneurship as Critical Agency: A study of Rural Internet kiosks, Proceedings of the International Conference on ICT and Development. 143-152, Berkeley University Press, Berkeley, CA
Rangaswamy, N (2006) 'Global Events Local Impacts': India's Rural Emerging Markets, Proceedings of the International Conference on Ethnographic Praxis in Industry pp 198-213, Portland, USA
Rangaswamy, N. (2005) Consumption Patterns of the Urban Indian Middle Class. International Conference on Ethnographic Praxis in industry,November 2005, Seattle, USA
Rangaswamy, N (2005) Sociology of ICT: Rural Internet Kiosk as Shared Space, HCII 2005, Las Vegas, USA