Stockholm university

Thais Machado BorgesPhD, Associate Professor

About me

Associate Professor in Latin American Studies, Ph.D. (Social Anthropology)
Director of the Nordic Institute of Latin American Studies.

I teach and research at the Institute of Latin American Studies, Department of Romance Studies and Classics. 


I teach courses in Latin American Studies at all levels, I also supervise degree projects, master dissertations, and Ph.D. theses on topics related to my research areas.


PhD in Social Anthropology, Associate professor at the Institute of Latin American Studies, Stockholm University. 

I have done extensive field research in urban Brazil with a focus on the following topics: telenovelas and popular culture; consumption of media products; socio-cultural and physical aspects of the crafting of bodies; consumption practices and notions of citizenship; social inequality; socio-cultural perspectives on the production, management, and recycling of waste; and everyday practices of social classification in unequal urban contexts.

For further information on my research, publications, and teaching, please take a look at the links and files on this page.



A selection from Stockholm University publication database

  • Out of Sight, Out of Mind? Middle-Class Households, Waste, Consumption, and Environmental Awareness in Southeastern Brazil

    2017. Thaïs Machado-Borges. Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology 22 (2), 298-319


    This article examines how middle-class households in the city of Belo Horizonte, southeastern Brazil, deal with the waste that pervades their lives. Processes of classification and disposal are examined and related to consumption practices, the division of labor, and environmental issues. This research also examines how waste is implicated in the performance of middle class-ness, in notions of morality, and in norms and codes classifying and distinguishing the valuable from the worthless. The present study suggests that members of the ethnographic sample seem worried about issues regarding social hierarchies and class belonging, to a much greater degree than they are concerned with the environmental aspects of consumption and waste management. Out of sight, out of mind? In an explicit context of social inequality, behavior toward waste passes first through the lens of class.

    Read more about Out of Sight, Out of Mind? Middle-Class Households, Waste, Consumption, and Environmental Awareness in Southeastern Brazil
  • "Les voix du rebut" ("Garbage Speeches"/"As falas do lixo")

    2017. Thais Machado-Borges.


    Garbage - that which is excluded, put aside, hidden, buried, taken out of sight, and rejected - is the starting point of this paper. Approached as refuted matter, garbage circulates between private and public arenas, between centers of power and forgotten peripheries. Approached as a social metaphor, garbage marks the limits between categories, between those things and people considered to have value, and those considered to be useless and disposable. In this paper, I discuss the use of language as a strategy for social positioning by analyzing some everyday interactions taking place among women from different social classes gathered during fieldwork in Southeastern Brazil. As I show, when practiced in asymmetric interactions, these garbage speeches not only classify people in terms of status and value, but also reinforce already existing differences. At focus in the present analysis are oral practices of social positioning where status and social exclusion are harshly negotiated.

    Read more about "Les voix du rebut" ("Garbage Speeches"/"As falas do lixo")

Show all publications by Thais Machado Borges at Stockholm University