Professor Ranjana Das

38 AD 03

Academic and research departments

Department of Sociology.


Areas of specialism

User cultures/user studies; User-centric algorithm studies; Parenthood, parenting and datafication; emerging technologies; Families and relationships, youth, parents; Media audiences, media literacies

My qualifications

PhD in Media and Communications
London School of Economics (LSE)
MSc in Media and Communications (Research)
London School of Economics (LSE)
MA in Mass Communication
AJK Mass Communication Research Centre, New Delhi
BSc in Geography
University of Calcutta, India

Business, industry and community links

Institute of Health Visiting
The Institute of Health Visiting is a UK Centre of Excellence supporting the development of universally high-quality health visiting practice.
National Childbirth Trust
NCT’s mission is to support parents through the first 1,000 days, to have the best possible experience of pregnancy, birth and early parenthood.
New Fathers, Mental Health and Digital Communication


Research interests


Postgraduate research supervision





Das, R. (In Press, 2024). Parents talking algorithms: Navigating Datafication and Family Life in Digital Societies. Parents engage with algorithms daily in contemporary digital societies. These algorithms are entwined with the most routine of everyday parenting tasks. Algorithms interface with parents’ interactions with search engines, their sharing and sharenting practices on social media, their children's entertainment, their engagement with the news, and more. This book explores parents’ awareness of the pervasive role of algorithms in shaping parenting practices and everyday life. It critically examines how parents navigate algorithmic environments and how they prepare for their children's futures in a world increasingly dominated by data, algorithms, automation, and artificial intelligence. Drawing on an in-depth study of 30 English parents, this work illuminates the hopes and fears parents speak of, in relation to algorithms and datafication. The book delves into their agency, their experiences of and interactions with algorithms in various contexts, including searching for information, sharing content, consuming news, and more. It looks into parents’ algorithmic literacies, whilst remembering the critical importance of holding powerful institutions accountable for their actions. This book should be of interest to social scientists, policymakers, and general readers interested in the intersection of families, platforms, parenting and digital technologies. It offers a nuanced understanding of parents’ agency, struggles, hopes and fears around algorithms shaping contemporary parenting in datafied societies.

Hodkinson, P. & Das, R. (2021). New Fathers, Mental Health and Digital Communication. London: Palgrave

This book analyses in-depth, qualitative material on new fathers’ experiences of mental health difficulties after having a baby and, in particular, their use of online communications as part of their coping practices. Arising out of a project funded by the Faculty of Arts and Social Science at the University of Surrey that centred on in depth interviews with 15 fathers, at the heart of the book are the ways discourses of masculinity and fatherhood can exacerbate fathers’ difficulties and prevent them from communicating with others, and the extent to which social media may provide opportunities to negotiate, escape from or contest such discourses through engaging with information and others, disclosing struggles and seeking support. We examine the digital mediation of emotions around paternal mental health, the emergence of new, networked paternal intimacies, and new forms of connection and disconnection which shape, resource, and potentially empower fathers communicating about mental health.

Das, R. (2019). Early Motherhood in Digital Societies: Ideals, anxieties and ties of the perinatal. LondonRoutledge

Early Motherhood in Digital Societies offers a nuanced understanding of what the digital turn has meant for new mothers in an intense and critical period before and after they have a baby, often called the ‘perinatal’ period. The book looks at an array of digital communication and content by drawing on an extensive research project involving in-depth interviews with new mothers in the United Kingdom and online case studies. The book asks: what does the use of technology mean in the perinatal context and what implications might it have for maternal wellbeing? The book argues for a balanced and context-sensitive approach to the digital in the context of perinatality and maternal wellbeing in the critical perinatal period.

Das, R. & Ytre-Arne, B. (2018). The future of audiences: A foresight analysis of interfaces and engagement. London: Palgrave Macmillan

This book brings together contributions from scholars across Europe to present findings from a foresight analysis exercise on audiences and audience analysis, looking towards an increasingly datafied world. The book uses knowledge emerging out of three foresight exercises, produced in cooperation with more than 50 stake-holding organisations and building on systematic reviews of audience research, to arrive at a renewed agenda for audience studies.

Das, R. & Graefer, A. (2017).Provocative Screens. Offended Audiences in Britain and Germany. Palgrave Macmillan (Pivot)

This book offers a nuanced understanding of ‘offensive’ television content by drawing on an extensive research project, involving in-depth interviews and focus groups with audiences in Britain and Germany. Provocative Screens asks: what makes something really offensive and to whom in what context? Why it offence felt so differently? And how does offensive content matter in public life, regulation, and institutional understandings?


  1. Das, R; Wong, Y; Jones, R; Jackson, P. (2024): How do we speak about algorithms and algorithmic media futures? Reflections on using Vignettes and scenarios as a data collection method in citizen councils on data-driven media personalisation
  2. Das, R. (2023): Parents’ understandings of social media algorithms in their children’s lives: Misunderstandings, parked understandings, transactional understandings and proactive understandings. Journal of Children and Media
  3. Das, R.  (2023): Parents’ algorithm literacies in digital societies: Contexts, dimensions and markers of parents’ algorithm literacies amidst Datafied parenthoodThe Communication Review
  4. Wong, Y; Das, R; Jones, R; Jackson, P. (2023): Conditional trust: Citizens’ council on data driven media personalisation and public expectations of transparency and accountability. Big Data and Society
  5. Das, R.; Chimirri, N; Jorge, A; Trueltzsch-Wijnen, C. (2023). Mediated parent networks: Explorations on the digital shaping of parents’ support networks in Austria, Denmark, Portugal and EnglandFamilies Relationships and Societies
  6. Das, R. (2022). Approximately in-person in the locked-down home: Approximation, digital ties and maternity amidst the COVID19 lockdown. New Media & Society 
  7. Das, R. & Beszlag, D. (2021). Migrant mothers' experiences of perinatal mental ill health in the UK and their expectations of healthcareJournal of Health Visiting Online First.
  8. Das, R. (2021). Women's experiences of maternity and perinatal mental health services during the first Covid-19 lockdownJournal of Health Visiting.
  9. Ytre-Arne, B.; & Das, R. (2020). Audiences’ communicative agency in a datafied age: Interpretative, relational and increasingly prospective. Communication Theory 
  10. Das, R. & Hodkinson, P. (2020). Affective coding: Strategies of online steganography in fathers’ mental health disclosureNew Media and Society
  11. Das, R., & Hodkinson, P. (2019). Tapestries of intimacy: Networked intimacies and new fathers’ emotional self-disclosure of mental health strugglesSocial Media+ Society5(2), 2056305119846488.
  12. Das, R. (2018). Temporally inexpensive, affectively expensive: Digitally mediated maternal interpersonal ties in the perinatal monthsCommunication, Culture and Critique 
  13. Das, R. (2018). A Field in Flux: The Intriguing Past and the Promising Future of Audience Analysis. Television and New Media
  14. Ytre-Arne, B. &; Das, R. (2018). An agenda in the interest of audiences: Facing the challenges of intrusive media technologies. Television and New Media
  15. Das, R. (2018). Populist discourse on a British social media patient-support community: The case of the Charlie Gard support campaign on Facebook. Discourse Context and Media
  16. Das, R. (2018). The mediated subjectivities of the maternal: A critique of childbirth videos on YouTube. Communication Review.
  17. Zsubori, A. & Das, R. (2018). Twenty years of Pottermania: Youthful experiences of fantasy at the intersections of the fictive and ‘real’Journal of Children and Media 12 (4). 
  18. Das, R. & Graefer, A. (2017). Regulatory expectations of offended audiences: The citizen interest in audience discourse. Communication, Culture and Critique. Online First.
  19. Das, R. (2017). Speaking about birth: Visible and silenced narratives in online discussions of childbirth. Social Media + Society.
  20. Das, R & Ytre-Arne, B. (2017). Critical, Agentic, Transmedia: Frameworks and Findings from a Foresight Analysis exercise on audience research. European Journal of Communication.*Gold Open Access*
  21. Das, R. (2017). The mediation of childbirth: Joyful birthing and strategies of silencing on a Facebook advice and support group. European Journal of Cultural Studies, Online First
  22. Das, R. (2017). Audiences: A decade of transformations: Reflections from the CEDAR network on emerging directions in audience analysis. Media, culture and society. Online First.
  23. Das, R. (2017). Stories about a queen: Viewing Bengali television drama in urban India. Critical Studies in Television 12(3).
  24. Graefer, A. & Das, R. (2017). Towards a contextual approach: Audiences, television, and 'offensive' humour. European Journal of Cultural Studies.
  25. Das, R. (2016). “I've walked this street”: Readings of reality in British children's reception of the Harry Potter series. Journal of Children and Media 10(3)
  26. Das, R. & Ytre-Arne. B. (2016). After the excitement: An introduction to the work of CEDAR. Participations 13(1). pp 280-288
  27. Das, R. and Pavlickova, T (2014). Is there as author behind this text? A literary aesthetic driven understanding of trust in interactive media. New Media and Society 16 (3)
  28. Das, R. (2014An appropriate inheritance: On being and not being an audience researcher. International Journal of Media and Cultural Politics 10 (2)
  29. Das, R. (2013). Introduction. In - Audiences: A cross-generational dialogue. A special issue of The Communication Review 16 (1)
  30. Das, R (2013). “To be number one in someone's eyes…” Children's introspections about close relationships in reading Harry Potter.European Journal of Communication 28 (5)
  31. Das, R. (2012). Children reading an online genre: Heterogeneity in interpretive work. Popular Communication 10 (4)
  32. Das, R (2012). The task of interpretation. Participations: The international journal of audience and reception studies. 9 (1)
  33. Das, R (2011). Converging perspectives in audience studies and digital literacies: youthful interpretations of an online genre. European Journal of Communication, 26: 4, 343-360
  34. Das, R (2010). Meaning at the Interface: new genres, new modes of interpretative engagement? Communication Review13 (2), 140-159
  35. Das, R (2010). Digital youth, heterogeneity and diversity. Journal of Media Practice 11: 3



  1. Ong. J. & Das, R. ( 2019). The contributions of television audience studies in the networked age: Looking back to look forward. In Shimpach, S. Eds (2019). The Routledge Companion to Global Television
  2. Das, R. (2018) Childbirth online: The mediation of contrasting discourses. In Mascheroni, G, Ponte, C. & Jorge, A. (Eds). Digital parenting: the challenges for families in the digital age. Gothenburg: Nordicom.
  3. Das, R. & Ytre-Arne, B. (2018). A new crossroads for audiences and audience analysis. In Das, R. & Ytre-Arne, B. (Eds). The Future of Audiences: A foresight analysis. London: Palgrave Macmillan.
  4. Das, R. (2018). From implications to responsibilities. In Das, R. & Ytre-Arne, B. (Eds). The Future of Audiences: A foresight analysis. London: Palgrave Macmillan.
  5. Das, R., Ytre-Arne, B. Mathieu, D., & Stehling, M. (2018) Our methodological approach: The intuitive-analytical balance. In Das, R. & Ytre-Arne, B. (Eds). The Future of Audiences: A foresight analysis. London: Palgrave Macmillan.
  6. Vesnic-Alejevic, L., Seddighi, G., Mathieu, D., & Das, R. (2018). Drivers and scenarios for 2030. In Das, R. & Ytre-Arne, B. (Eds). The Future of Audiences: A foresight analysis. London: Palgrave Macmillan.
  7. Ytre-Arne, B. & Das, R.( 2018). Where next for audiences in communication? An emergent research agenda. In Das, R. & Ytre-Arne, B. (Eds). The Future of Audiences: A foresight analysis. London: Palgrave Macmillan.
  8. Das, R., Kleut, J., & Bolin, G. (2014). New Genres-New Roles for the Audience?. Audience Transformations Shifting Audience Positions in Late Modernity, 30-46.
  9. Livingstone, S & Das, R. (2012). The End of Audiences? Theoretical echoes of reception amidst the uncertainties of use. Chapter for the Blackwell Companion to New Media Dynamics, edited by John Hartley, Jean Burgess and Axel Bruns
  10. Das, R (2010). The task of interpretation: converging perspectives in audience research and digital literacies? In Nico Carpentier, et. Al. (Eds.)Media and Communication Studies Intersections and Interventions. Tartu: University of Tartu Press


  1. Das, R. Eds. (2018). A field in flux: The intriguing pasts and the promising future of audience analysis. Special issue of Television and New Media
  2. Das, R. & Ytre-Arne, B. Eds. (2016). Emerging directions in audience research: Lessons from the Consortium on Emerging Directions in Audience Research. Special Issue of Participations, 13(1).
  3. Das, R. Eds (2013). Audiences: A cross-generational dialogue. A special issue of The Communication Review 16 (1)