Rosana Pinheiro Machado
  • 3 EAST 3.36

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Personal profile

Research interests

I am an anthropologist and a social scientist focusing on economic and political transformations in emerging economies. I have been conducting fieldwork and developing international research collaborations across several countries in the global south.

My research deals with the topics of authoritarianism, labour and consumption, and poverty. A thread running through my research agenda is the desire to gain a longitudinal, local understanding of the major processes of world-making and world-ordering that have transformed emerging countries in economic and political terms.

I have been involved in these three major research projects:

  • NEW CONSUMERS IN EMERGING ECONOMIES (2019-2022): I am currently an Investigator Partner of a multi-sited collaborative research project, funded by Discovery Grant, Australian Research Council (with Anna Pertierra CI, from Western Sydney University, Tingting Liu from Jinan University, and Cezarina Saloma from Ateneo Manila). The 3-year project will be conducted in Brazil, China, Philippines and Mexico. The research aims to understand how globalised economic growth is transforming lives among low-income urban communities of the Global South. 
  • FROM HOPE TO HATE: THE AUTHORITARIAN TURN IN BRAZIL (2009-2018) Lucia Muri Scalco (UFRGS, Brazil) and I researched the impacts of the rise and fall of the economy as well as democratic collapse on the political subjectivity of the poor. Following the same research subjects for 10 years sheds light on how the very citizens that exemplified Brazil's rise as a global democratic power in Lula’s era — the ‘new consumers’— came to support a far-right project.
  • CHINA-PARAGUAY-BRAZIL: INFORMAL ECONOMY AND PIRACY (1999-2019): This research resulted in my 2017 book Counterfeit Itineraries in the Global South (Routledge Studies in Social Anthropology). The book was the culmination of 10 years (1999-2009 and 2014) of ethnography on a global commodity chain of counterfeit and smuggled goods in China and on the Brazil-Paraguay border. I lived in these three countries during my Ph.D. fieldwork, trying to combine the best of deep sustained local ethnography with transnational research. 


In addition to my work as a scholar, I have collaborated with international organisations, such as Article 19, focusing on social movements and the right to protest in Latin America.


Selected International Press:

Interview | My research trajectory and Brazilian affairs @ Global Voices | Available in English - French - Spanish - Italian - Portuguese

Video Interview | The informal economy in Brazil and China, Brazil-China Forum, Peking University

Teaching interests

  • Cultural and social dimensions of development, poverty, and politics
  • Anthropological theory and ethnography
  • Social movements, civil society, and resistance in the 21st century


Willing to supervise doctoral students

  • The newest social movements
  • The rise of far-right-wing worldwide 
  • Cultural and social aspects of inequality and modernity in both Brazil and China (but not only)
  • The impacts of development on small communities 
  • The informal economy, labour, intellectual property, illicit trade, and consumption. 

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Education/Academic qualification

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, University of Oxford

Award Date: 1 Sep 2016

Anthropology, Doctor of Philosophy, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul

Award Date: 1 Mar 2009

PhD Internship in the Department of Anthropology and Material Culture, University College London

1 Jan 200831 Dec 2008

External positions

Graduate Programme in Social Sciences, Universidade Federal de Santa Maria

1 Sep 20171 Sep 2019

Visiting Researcher (Japan), Aichi Prefectural University

1 Jan 201720 Jan 2017

Visiting Professor in the Department od Sociology, University of São Paulo

1 Sep 201631 Aug 2017

Lecturer in Anthropology of Development, University of Oxford

1 Aug 20131 Aug 2016

Visiting Scholar at Fairbank Centre for Chinese Studies, Harvard University

1 Sep 201231 Aug 2013

Co-Supervisor of Isis Umbelino Walker, Global Department, University of Amsterdam

20 Aug 0001 → …


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