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Research Students - Material Culture  

Room: Leaving for field work in April Year of start: 2013
Subject: Material, Visual and Digital

Research Topic/ Provisional Dissertation Title

The effects of Social Networking Sites related to class mobility in Brazil


Daniel Miller, first
Lucia Michelutti
, second


I am part of the academic team that is conducting the Social Networking and Social Science research project, a multi-sited comparative study coordinated by professor Daniel Miller.

I study the effects of social networking sites on social mobility in Brazil. In the past decade, nearly 50 million Brazilians have crossed the poverty line and mingled with the country’s working strata to form what has been called the “new middle class”. As they arrived at the Internet, social networking sites became a field of dispute about the meaning “middle class” has in Brazil. I intend to examine social networking sites as symbolic homes for Brazilians, as these services make relationships visible and expose historically situated markers of social distinctions.

In 2011 I graduated from the MSc in digital anthropology offered by the UCL. My dissertation focused on informal learning and value creation among YouTube beauty gurus - download it here. I have a BA in History from Universidade de São Paulo and participated in two large research projects in oral history research projects coordinated by Professor Sebe Bom Meihy.

Between ending my undergraduate studies and recently coming back to academia, I spent 14 years of developing / managing social media and collaboration projects in the US and Latin American. In 2010 I was social media evangelist for Brazil’s presidential candidate Marina Silva. I am fluent in English and Spanish.

Research interests

  • Digital communication
  • Social mobility / inequality / middle class
  • Brazil / Latin America
  • Informal learning
  • YouTube
  • Ethnography
  • Oral history

Academic Background/Education

Bachelor’s degree in History at University of São Paulo (1990-94)

Msc in digital anthropology at UCL (2010-11)

Honours and Awards

Graduated with distinction from the Msc in Digital Anthropology


Spyer, Juliano. Para entender a internet. Juliano Spyer, 2009. Download paper.

SPYER, Juliano. "Web 2.0." Para entender a internet: noções, práticas e desafios da comunicação em rede (2009): 28-29.

SPYER, Juliano, ed. "Tudo o que você precisa saber sobre twitter." São Paulo: Talk (2009). Download paper.

Spyer, Juliano. Conectado – O Que a Internet Fez Com Você E O Que Você Pode Fazer Com Ela. Jorge Zahar Editor Ltda, 2007. Download initial chapters

Spyer, Juliano. "‘Urban Indians." Brazil Reader. History, Culture, Politics (1999): 437-440.

Spyer, Juliano. "A Letter From Brazil." The Brazil Reader–History, Culture, Politics (1999): 277-279.


European Research Council

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