Global Studies Colloquium: "Platform capitalism in India"

Wednesday, October 20 at 12:30pm

The Department of Global Studies' Colloquium Series is a lecture series, which has been made possible by the generosity of the Orfalea Endowment for the Master's Program in Global Studies.  The Colloquium Series strives to open and explore a wide range of interdisciplinary debates and their interaction and engagement with the global, hosting new guest speakers each quarter from UCSB and beyond.  The upcoming event will be hosted via Zoom on Wednesday, October 20th at 12:30pm. Zoom link is (Meeting ID: 842 4656 4996). Please see below for the featured talk:


Vibodh Parthasarathi, Platform capitalism in India

The emergence of platforms in media and the wider knowledge economy has aroused euphoria and anxiety in scholarship. Predominant in both is a view of the platform phenomenon as a rupture. In contrast, I have proposed grasping platform dynamics as an evolutionary process, where information and communication technologies get incrementally harnessed to reformulate market systems and social transactions (Athique & Parthasarathi 2020). This shifts attention from engaging with platforms, the noun, to ‘platformization’, a verb, thereby transcending an affordances-based approach to platforms. Arguing my case leads me to focus on Exchange Platforms, a conception constituting my four-way typology of platforms, which include Attention, Commodity, and Governance Platforms. In particular, I delve into matchmaking apps that illustrate the platformization of social economies unfolding around us. One rendition of this is the platformization of age-old practices of ‘arranged marriages’; another, not necessarily opposing rendition manifests in ‘online dating’. These seemingly minor practices embody the industrial dynamics of Big Tech – therefore also reflecting key anxieties deliberated at the high table of platform governance.


Vibodh Parthasarathi has a multidisciplinary interest in media policy, creative industries and policy literacy. Associate Professor, Centre for Culture, Media and Governance at Jamia Millia Islamia, he is also Visiting Fellow at Centre for Media, Data and Society, Central European University. He has held visiting positions at the University of Queensland, KU Leuven, University of Helsinki, IIT-Bombay, and Lund University. Parthasarathi has been at the forefront of media policy research in India and has won numerous awards including from the Ford Foundation, Canada’s IDRC, and the University Grants Commission. Platform Capitalism in India (Palgrave 2020) is his latest edited work, following the critically acclaimed double-volume The Indian Media Economy (OUP 2018), and the triptych Communication Processes (Sage 2007, 2009, 2010). Parthasarathi serves in positions of governance at the Centre for Internet and Society and The Media Foundation, in advisory roles with book series at MIT Press and OUP, and is Associate Editor of the Journal of Digital Media and Policy.


For more information about the Colloquium Series, please contact Professor Jan Nederveen Pieterse, Global Studies Colloquium Director:


Event Type

Lectures & Presentations

Target Audience

Graduate Students, Faculty & Staff


Social Sciences


global studies, colloquium, current, Current-Feature


Global Studies
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