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Information technology and the uneven geographies of globalization: an analysis of software trade between the United States of America and Brazil

Grant number: 19/00328-2
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): April 10, 2019
Effective date (End): October 09, 2019
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Geography - Human Geography
Principal researcher:María Mónica Arroyo
Grantee:Melissa Maria Veloso Steda
Supervisor abroad: Eric Stewart Sheppard
Home Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (FFLCH). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Research place: University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), United States  
Associated to the scholarship:16/22841-5 - Territory, production and information: software industry in Brazil in the context of internet expansion, BP.DR


For the past few decades, information technology has been playing a notable role in the capitalist space economy. A major product of technology-intensive economic activities, software is becoming more popular for its use in a wide range of everyday activities and production processes. The automation of simple and complex tasks leads to changes and new perspectives in the spatial divisions of labor, in social relations and in many other fields. The United States of America are Brazil's biggest trade partner in computer and information services. More specifically, the state of California holds an expressive number of software clusters and is well known for its information technology industry. In turn, 74.5% of the software commercialized in Brazil is developed abroad. Thus, addressing the global trade of information technology products is a way of knowing and analyzing some of the uneven geographies of globalization. We seek to examine the features of American software exporting companies (regarding size and location, labor force and other characteristics) in order to unveil the spatial strategies used to establish their market in Brazil. Taking into account California's global economic leadership and uniqueness in high technology and innovation, an analysis of its trade with Brazil will provide us additional thoughts and new interpretations for the study of Brazil's software production. Furthermore, the internship will also allow us to get in touch with the academic environment of the UCLA and its Department of Geography. We will then be able to take forward prolific debates and geographical interpretations of the matter.

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