Construing the Future through Data Infrastructures: Informational Governance and the Technopolitics of Inequality Measures in Brazil

  • Supervisor: Olivia ANGE
  • Research center: Département des Sciences sociales et des Sciences du Travail
  • Research start date: 01.11.2020


Between 2003 and 2014, Brazil became a global showcase for economic growth and income redistribution. Economists, policymakers, and marketers heralded the end of poverty and the incorporation of millions into a newly defined “middle class.” This project unpacks Brazil’s regimes of data production, collection, and circulation that have sustained inequality measures and imaginaries of development and poverty redress since the 1960s. It draws on archival and ethnographic research in Washington DC, Brasilia, and São Paulo, among think tanks, governments, and market research institutes. Bridging findings in Economic Anthropology and Science and Technology, “informational governance” links circuits of science, government, and market to produce future-oriented political aspirations and to govern biopolitical collectives of consumer-citizens. By exploring the temporalities of data infrastructure, the project inquires into the technopolitics of inequality avowing middle-class formations in the Global South.