Gina Neff

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Gina Neff
Headshot of Gina Neff, against a white background
Gina Neff, associate professor at the Oxford Internet Institute
Born (1971-01-23) January 23, 1971 (age 48)
Campton, Kentucky, USA
Professor, University of Washington and University of Oxford
Spouse(s)Philip N. Howard
AwardsBest Book award from American Sociological Association,
Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study in Budapest
Academic background
Alma materColumbia University (Ph.D., 2004)
Graduate Center, CUNY (M.Phil, 2001) Columbia College (B.A., 1993)[1]
Academic work
DisciplineSocial Science

Gina Neff is a media and communication scholar whose work centers on the social and organizational impact of new communication technologies. Trained as an organizational sociologist, her research is at the intersection of concerns about work, technologies, communication and organizing. Professor Gina Neff is a senior research fellow at the Oxford Internet Institute and an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Oxford.[2] She studies innovation, the digital transformation of industries, and how new technologies impact work. She is co-author of "Self-Tracking" (MIT 2016). She was Associate Professor at the University of Washington.[3] She was also Associate Professor at the School of Public Policy at Central European University.[4] She was also a faculty member at the Center for Media, Data and Society.[5]

Her publication, Venture Labor: Work and the Burden of Risk in Innovative Industries,[6] won the Best Book Award from the American Sociological Association's Section on Communication and Information Technologies.[7] With Carrie Sturts Dossick at the University of Washington, she runs the Project on Communication Technology and Organizational Practices, a research group studying the roles of communication technology in the innovation of complex building design and construction. Her work has been funded by the National Science Foundation and as of January 2015, Neff is currently at work on a three-year research project funded by Intel studying the impact of social media and consumer health technologies on the organization of primary health care. She also co-edited Surviving the New Economy (Paradigm 2007).

Neff holds a PhD in sociology from Columbia University, where she remains an external faculty affiliate of the Center on Organizational Innovation.[8] She has held appointments at Princeton University, New York University, Stanford University, UC San Diego and UC Los Angeles.

In addition to academic outlets, her research and writing have been featured in The New York Times, Slate,[9] Christian Science Monitor, Fortune, The American Prospect, and The Nation.


In 1993, she attended Columbia College, Columbia University in pursuit of getting her degree in Economics and Middle Eastern Languages & Culture. Later on in 2001, She went back to school at The Graduate Center, City University of New Yorkfor Sociology. She then continued her sociology studied at Columbia University. Later in 2004, she pursued a PHD in Sociology at Columbia University.[10]


Gina Neff has participated in various amounts of research projects. Two of her most well known research studies are with The University of Oxford. The “Al & Data Diversity” project focuses on increasing the public knowledge and comprehension of data diversity and the frequent choices that surround Al and technology innovation. With doing so, it will allow for the curation of more advanced technologies while also increasing and enhancing the science on diversity in technology led growth.[11]The “Data Work: Collaboration, Sense Making and the Possible Futures For Work” project focuses on supporting the release time for writing an academic monograph in the sociology of technology. Which concentrates the background and experience for digital transformation workers and the lessons learned throughout this experience in the era of Al and big data.[12]


At The University of Oxford Gina Neff is a professor for “Social Dynamics of the Internet” which is a course designed to curate a common basis of understanding in order to debate the internet and to curate a similar understanding of the social implications of the internet. Including the studies of political communication, audience attention, Al and big data, and international digital media. [13]


Venture Labor: Work and the Burden of Risk in Innovative Industries is Gina Neff’s first book. In this book, Gina Neff focuses on the effects of Silicon Alley in the 1990s. At a time in which employees would quit their well paying jobs in order to take a risk for the chance of becoming successful through stock options in upcoming growing industries. She goes through extensive and thorough research and interviews which ultimately leads to her connection of these individuals actions to larger and economical structures.[14]

Self Tracking is Gina Neff’s most recent book. It was also awarded Co-Winner, 2013 American Sociological Association Section on Communication and Information Technologies (CITASA) Book Award. This book centers around the usage of self tracking in regards to monitoring sleep hours, activity and fitness, consumed calories and medication. The book examines and analyzes the habits and the usage of self tracking while connecting these habits to specific communities they consist of. Gina Neff and her co-author Dawn Nafus examine and explain the effects of self tracking and the impact these communities have with one another. [15]

Awards & Grants[edit]

Over the years Gina Neff has received several awards and grants from various foundations and funds. In 2007, The University of Washington’s Royalty Research Fund granted her $39,655. The award was given to her from the fund for being the Co-principal investigator for “Analyzing the Ramifications of New Communication Technologies for Collaboration in Architecture, Engineering, and Construction.” In 2008,  the National Science Foundation granted her $218,082. This award was given to her for being the principal investigator for “Assessing Collaboration Across Organizational Boundaries In U.S. Green Construction: Does Working Together With New Information Technology Result In Better Buildings?” In 2010, Intel Corporation granted her $240,000 for being the principal investigator for “Organizational Adoption of and Adaptation to Patient Biosensor Data.” in 2012, The National Science Foundation awarded her $11,825 for being the principal investigator alongside Brittany Fiore-SIlfvast for “ Doctoral Dissertation Research: The Informationalization of Healthcare: Shifting Subjectivities, Organizational Forms and Ways of Knowing in the U.S. and India.” In 2013, The National Science Foundation awarded her $432,009 for being the Co-principal investigator for “Reduce Energy Consumption Through Integrated Design: How Do Engineers Translate and Teams Synthesize?” In 2014, UW Green Seed Fund granted her $77,489 for being a Key Personnel on “Building User Audit: Capturing Behavior, Energy and Culture.” In the same year she was awarded 10,000 and the Microsoft FUSE Labs Faculty Research Award for her work on “Closing the Innovation Readiness Gap.” Most recently in 2016, she was given the UW Innovation Award, along with $170,000 for he work on “Engineering Communication In Data Rich Environments: How do we support innovation in multidisciplinary teams?”[16]

Selected publications[edit]

  • Self-Tracking (MIT 2016)
  • Venture Labor: Work and the Burden of Risk in Innovative Industries (MIT 2012)
  • Surviving the New Economy (Paradigm 2007)
  • Neff, Gina; Tanweer, Anissa (June 2017). "Critique and Contribute: A Practice-Based Framework for Improving Critical Data Studies and Data Science". Big Data. 5 (2): 85–97. doi:10.1089/big.2016.0050. PMC 5515123. Retrieved July 16, 2019.
  • —— (September 2013). "Why Big Data Won't Cure Us". Big Data. 1 (3): 117–23. doi:10.1089/big.2013.0029. PMC 4114418. Retrieved January 3, 2015.
  • —— (September 6, 2014). "Generation i". The Economist. Retrieved January 3, 2015.


  1. ^ Neff, Gina (October 2015). "Dr. Gina Neff Curriculum Vitae" (PDF). Retrieved November 9, 2018.
  2. ^ "Professor: Neff, Gina". Oxford. Retrieved August 8, 2016.
  3. ^ "Department of Communication: Neff, Gina". University of Washington. Retrieved January 3, 2015.
  4. ^ "Gina Neff". Central European University. Archived from the original on January 3, 2015. Retrieved January 3, 2015.
  5. ^ "Centre for Media, Data and Society: Faculty". Central European University. Retrieved January 3, 2015.
  6. ^ Watson, Tom (August 31, 2013). "Venture Labor: How Ambition, Technology And Opportunity Trumped The Career Ladder In 1990s New York". Retrieved January 3, 2015..
  7. ^ "The Communication and Information Technologies Section of the ASA". Retrieved January 3, 2015..
  8. ^ "Center on Organizational Innovation: Faculty and Staff". Archived from the original on December 8, 2014. Retrieved January 3, 2015.
  9. ^ "Gina Neff". Slate. Retrieved January 3, 2015.
  10. ^ "Bio". Gina Neff. 2013-01-21. Retrieved 2019-10-22.
  11. ^ "AI & Data Diversity — Oxford Internet Institute". Retrieved 2019-11-26.
  12. ^ "Data Work: Collaboration, Sense Making and the Possible Futures for Work — Oxford Internet Institute". Retrieved 2019-11-26.
  13. ^ "Social Dynamics of the Internet — Oxford Internet Institute". Retrieved 2019-11-26.
  14. ^ Neff, Gina (2014-12-28). "Book Review: Venture Labor in IJOC". Gina Neff. Retrieved 2019-12-02.
  15. ^ Press, The MIT. "Gina Neff". The MIT Press. Retrieved 2019-11-26.
  16. ^ "Curriculum Vitae: Prof Gina Neff". Academia. Retrieved 2019-10-22.

External links[edit]