Dr. Gray is interested broadly in economies – those that touch our daily lives most intimately and are not reflected in the vicissitudes of the stock market. Much of her research has focused on rural communities, such as her investigations of how Russia’s privatization program in the 1990s affected reindeer herding in the Far North. As a Russia specialist engaging in critical development studies, Dr. Gray studied the role that international development assistance has played in the way Russians see themselves and their relationship to the world. She has also investigated the use of online social media in protest movements, as well as the implications for doing research through online platforms, reflected in her article in American Ethnologist titled, “Memory, body and the online researcher: Following Russian Street demonstrations via social media”.
Patty Gray has held research fellowships and awards from the MacArthur Foundation, the Fulbright Program, the Social Science Research Council, IREX (The International Research and Exchanges Board, which has a legacy of funding university exchanges to the former Soviet Union/Russia since 1968), the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, the National Science Foundation, the European Science Foundation, the Max Planck Society, and the Irish Research Council for Humanities and Social Sciences (IRCHSS).