Ranjit Singh

PhD Candidate | Cornell University

I am a PhD candidate in the Department of Science & Technology Studies (STS) and an affiliate of the Department of Information Science (IS) at Cornell University. My research lies at the intersection of data infrastructures, global development, and public policy. I examine the everyday experiences of data subjects — people who are subject to data-driven practices — and follow the mutual shaping of their lives with their data records. My dissertation project is centered on producing an ethnography of the legal, administrative, and technological challenges in building and using India’s biometrics-based national identification infrastructure, Aadhaar.

How do infrastructures mediate the relationship between visions of data-driven governance and the everyday experiences of data subjects? While for most infrastructures work the same way, for others they break down in uneven and distributed ways. This uneven distribution is at the heart of current struggles over fairness, accountability, and justice in data-driven public policy design. I study this unevenness by conducting empirically grounded investigations of the features and limits of infrastructuring digital technologies in the lives of data subjects. 

Email: rps244 [at] cornell [dot] edu

Address: 420, Morrill Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York 14853.


People@Cornell who make my research possible

Emeritus Professor in the Department of Science and Technology Studies

Research Interests: (1) The production and uses of evidence in science and law, (2) Ethnomethodology and conversational analysis, and (3) Social theory and philosophy of social science.



Associate Professor in the Department of Information Science and Department of Science and Technology Studies

Research Interests: (1) Infrastructure, collaboration, and improvisation, (2) Breakdown, maintenance, and repair, and (3) Global computing.



Goldwin Smith Professor of Science and Technology Studies

Research Interests: (1) The sociology of technology and how users engage with technology, (2) Sound studies and music, and in particular the development of musical instruments and sound objects, (3) Markets and the economy with specific attention to the study of selling and persuasion.