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Digital inequalities and ethnography: the internet, its uses, possibilities and agency in Rio de Janeiro`s favelas


This research project was developed under the Call for Proposals: "Strategic Research on the Internet" and in the modality of Jovem Pesquisador. The project's main focus is to understand, from an ethnographic, intersectional, and multidisciplinary perspective, different dynamics and everyday social processes that will allow for advances in discussions on digital inequalities in Brazil, trying to understandif and how they are linked to broader social inequalities. Based on this objective, the project proposes to create the research area "Digital Anthropology" in the Department of Anthropology at USP, and the LETec - Ethnographic Laboratory for Technological and Digital Studies, also linked to the Department of Anthropology - USP. The goal is based on discussions of digital inequalities from different axes, going beyond the issue of access to technological devices and connection networks. In this sense, the uses, flows, and meanings that subjects give to their everyday experiences of using technology are of interest. The project also seeks, through research associated with LETec (Principal Researcher, Associate Researchers, and TT, IC, and Masters scholarship holders), to discuss theoretical, methodological, and ethical issues, seeking to analytically advance on discussions and nomenclatures of digital inclusion/exclusion, showing how digital inequalities is a better term; discuss the profitability of ethnography as a set of research techniques that allows for a more localized understanding of digital experiences; invest in technological and more democratic forms of scientific dissemination; and give continuity to the Principal Researcher's internationalization networks. The basic assumption of this proposal is that, if we want to democratize the internet in Brazil and understand its dynamics and processes, we cannot do so without understanding countless social and digital inequalities. (AU)

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