Aarushi Bhandari Assistant Professor of Sociology
- Ph.D. Stony Brook University
- M.A. Stony Brook University
- B.A. Manhattanville College
Areas of Expertise
- Research Methods
- Attention Economy
- Globalization & International Development
- Media & Technology
- Mindfulness and Wellbeing
I teach courses on statistics and advanced quantitative methods, digital media, globalization, social movements, and mindfulness. Pedagogically, I aim to provide students with social scientific lenses by which they can evaluate and make sense of the various social institutions they encounter in their daily lives.
As a millennial, I relate to the challenges young people face with online information overload from all kinds of reliable and unreliable sources. In developing my courses, I aim to provide students with the tools to synthesize the flurry of information they receive into theoretically coherent narratives that best explain the social world using the scientific method. Furthermore, it is my goal to support students’ holistic wellbeing in the difficult process of learning about the complexities of social realities.
My current research trajectory focuses on the attention economy; the economies constructed for information and communication technologies (ICTs), especially the internet and social media. My book Attention and Alienation: Reflections on the Many promises of ICTs for Social Progress is under contract with Columbia University Press. This book presents quantitative data on internet and mobile penetration across the world from 1990-2020 to unpack the historical impacts these technologies have had on different elements of global change, including international development and social movements. Throughout the book, I weave narratives about my own experiences growing up as a young millennial girl during the Nepali Civil War. These narratives provide the contexts, positions and perspectives that inspire my analysis of the data.
Expanding on my interests in the phenomena of technology and attention, my newer projects focus on the study of meditation and mindfulness as radical tools to reclaim our attention from “big tech” firms and social media platforms. As a teacher, I am especially keen to uncover this line of inquiry to support my students for whom digital and social media are integral aspects of living. My next book project will be at the nexus of the study of attention, mindfulness and the future of technology.
Finally, I am also continuing my work on communication technologies and society through interdisciplinary collaborative projects on the social dimensions of rapidly evolving Artificial Intelligence (AI) and language models.
Selected Peer-Reviewed Publications
Bhandari, A. (2023). Anti-Systemic Movements in the Attention Economy: Engaging the Cultural Political Economy Approach. Journal of World-Systems Research, 29(1), 90-124.
Bhandari, A., & Shirazi, S. (2022). Economic Dependency and Rural Exclusion: Explaining the Global Digital Divide, 1995 to 2014. Sociology of Development, 8(3), 239-271.
Bhandari, A. (2019). Gender inequality in mobile technology access: The role of economic and social development. Information, Communication & Society, 22(5), 678-694.