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Ralph Schroeder
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Ralph Schroeder

Oxford University

Fellowship year

2024 - Oxford University - Study 4

Ralph Schroeder will be working on a book provisionally titled The Internet in a Rising Asia; a comparative study of India and China and how digital media are shaping their development. It will have chapters about topics like Aadhaar and the social credit system, the gendered uses of mobile phones, and the online mobilization of support for ultranationalism. The book will also reflect more broadly on whether social theory that was mainly developed to explain the Global North or the West can be used to understand other parts of the world. This question raises further ones about the stability of authoritarianism in China and about democratic backsliding in Modi’s India. The internet is, of course, only a small part of those broader questions, but it is an interesting lens since social change in the 21st century will be driven to a large extent by digital technologies. Schroeder is also working on a second project, with a few papers already published, about how AI can be used to improve social theory: what if modelling the social world were left to machines rather than to human social theorists? 

Schroeder is professor of Social Science of the Internet at the Oxford Internet Institute at the University of Oxford. More about his work at