Thematic areas of research
projects and teaching interests

Informality, Illegality, and Intellectual Property

This research is a multi-site (China-Paraguay-Brazil) and longitudinal (1999–2014) ethnography that follows the route of cheap Chinese goods from China to Brazil via Paraguay. The analysis focuses on the historical and contemporary processes that transformed China’s industrialisation and the informal economy in Brazil. Related subjects: piracy, frontiers, Chinese immigration, family, guanxi, entrepreneurship

Politics, poverty and consumption in neoliberal Brazil

This research was carried out in partnership with Dr. Lúcia Scalco on the political potential of low-income consumption in the urban peripheries, including the phenomenon both in the context of emergency and the crisis of the Brazilian economy.

When the phenomenon of the rolezinhos (young boys’ flash mobs in shopping malls) broke out in Brazil, Rosana and Lúcia participated in the public debate in the national and international media. .

Politics and the newest social movements in the 21st century

This teaching interest refers to the study of the new forms of collective organisation that have been unfolding in the 21st century in major world cities through (1) mass protests and (2) occupations of urban spaces. It investigates whether there is a new form or tactic of contemporary social movements, especially concerning practices of direct democracy, autonomy, new media, and horizontality.

Recent Transformations in Chinese Societies

AThese research and teaching interests investigate the new subjectivities in the post-Mao era in urban and contemporary China, focusing on neoliberal processes and rationalities. There is a particular interest in the emergence of new "isms" (e.g., individualism, consumerism, entrepreneurship, romanticism, and feminism) due to the abrupt and radical changes brought about by recent political and economic reforms.

Academic Suffering

Over the last 5 years, Pinheiro-Machado has systematically collected stories about academic suffering, including issues of mental illness, precarious working conditions, harassment, and oppression in the realm of higher education. She has also given talks on the subject all over the country.