Social Media in Emergent Brazil
Juliano Spyer | October 2017
Format: 234 x 156mm
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About the book
Since the birth of the internet, low-income Brazilians have received little government support to help them access it. In response, they have largely self-financed their digital migration. Internet cafés became prosperous businesses in working-class neighbourhoods and rural settlements, and, more recently, families have aspired to buy their own home computer with hire purchase agreements. As low-income Brazilians began to access popular social media sites in the mid-2000s, affluent Brazilians ridiculed their limited technological skills, different tastes and poor schooling, but this did not deter them from expanding their online presence. Young people created profiles for barely literate older relatives and taught them to navigate platforms such as Facebook and WhatsApp.
Based on 15 months of ethnographic research, this book aims to understand why low-income Brazilians have invested so much of their time and money in learning about social media. Juliano Spyer explores this question from a number of perspectives, including education, relationships, work and politics. He argues that the use of social media reflects contradictory values. Low-income Brazilians embrace social media to display literacy and upward mobility, but the same technology also strengthens traditional networks of support that conflict with individualism..
About the author
Juliano Spyer is Honorary Research Associate at UCL's Department of Anthropology, where he also obtained his PhD. His research interests include digital anthropology, online research methods, learning and apprenticeship, DIY/participatory media and Christianity.. Previously, he created and managed social media projects in the United States and Latin America, and published the first book about social media in Brazil (Conectado, 2007)..