Dr Preeti Raghunath (she/her)

Department of Sociological Studies

Lecturer in Digital Media and Society

International Officer, Digital Media and Society programmes

A photo of Preeti
Profile picture of A photo of Preeti

Full contact details

Dr Preeti Raghunath
Department of Sociological Studies
Floor C
The Wave
2 Whitham Road
S10 2AH

Preeti Raghunath joined the Department of Sociological Studies in 2023 as a Lecturer in Digital Media and Society. Prior to joining the University of Sheffield, she taught at Monash University, Malaysia. Preeti holds a PhD in Communication (2019) from the University of Hyderabad and a Master’s in International Relations and Politics (2011) from Jawaharlal Nehru University, both in India.

Research interests

Preeti’s current research is on the Global Data Economy. One strand of this research historicises the making of the global data economy, looking at intertwined histories of imperial datafication and transnational labour involved in building colonial railways. The second strand focuses on digital technologies and data in the life course of Myelopathy (a degenerative neurological disease) and concomitantly, patient-centric health data governance.

Research group

Preeti is a member of the following research themes/networks at the University of Sheffield:

  • Digital Society Network
  • Migration Research Group
  • Southern Theorising Group

Preeti welcomes proposals that pertain to the global data economy, broadly put. These could be focused on interpretive/critical/deliberative policy studies of AI, data governance, the transnational data industries, and related areas.


Preeti has secured grants and consultancies with entities like UN University in Macau (research projects funded by ITU and UN Women), Indian Council for Social Science Research (ICSSR), and sub-grants from the Open Society Foundation (OSF), Ford Foundation and Association for Progressive Communications (APC). She has received grants from scholarly associations like IAMCR and IPPA to present papers at their annual conferences. She was the recipient of the Best Paper Award at IAMCR 2018 for her paper titled, ‘Airing Imperium: A Historiography of Radio Governance in South Asia’. Here are details of funded research projects she has pursued after her PhD:

  • Co-Investigator – Industry SEED Project with Action Lab, Monash University, Australia (2023) - Volunteer-driven governance of community platforms in Sri Lanka.
  • Researcher – United Nations University, Macau (2022-2023) for two projects: Gender and AI in Southeast Asia, funded by ITU and Government of Australia; and AI and the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) Agenda in Southeast Asia, funded by UN Women
  • Country Expert, India – Bottom-up Initiatives and Anti-Corruption Technologies: How Citizens use ICTs to Fight Corruption (BIT-ACT), University of Bologna, Italy (2021-2023) 
  • PI – ‘Hated Speech’ and the Costs of Freedom in India, Grant by the Association for Progressive Communications (APC) (2021-2022)
Teaching interests

Preeti teaches the following modules in 2023-24: Perspectives on Digital Society (MA), the Digital Media Work Placement module (BA) and Social Research Design and Methods (BA). She is also developing an optional module for BA L3 titled, Global Data Industries.

Professional activities and memberships

Preeti is a Co-Editor of the Palgrave Global Media Policy and Business book series (2023-2028). She serves as a Vice-Chair of the Global Media Policy Working Group of the IAMCR (2020-2024). She is also on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Digital Media and Policy (Intellect).
She is a member of academic networks like SHOT, ICA, IPPA, AoIR and ECREA. She is also part of the Labor Technology Research Network.

Partnerships, engagement and impact

Previously, Preeti was instrumental in securing inter-institutional partnerships, like an MoU for research cooperation between Monash University, Malaysia and United Nations University in Macau. Her research report titled ‘Hated Speech and the Costs of Freedom in India’ funded by APC, is part of Columbia University’s Global Freedom of Expression curriculum. She was part of a national consultation with the Government of India in the area of community radio policy, the focus of her doctoral research

She welcomes collaborations in areas of common interest.