Sérgio Barbosa*

University of Coimbra


Received Sylff fellowship in 2019.
Current affiliation: University of Coimbra
Academic SupervisorJoão Arriscado NunesUniversity of Coimbra
           Stefania Milan (University of Amsterdam)

FR: University of Coimbra
TO: DATACTIVE, Department of Media Studies, University of Amsterdam (The Netherlands)

Academic achievements, social engagement initiatives:

Sérgio Barbosa, MA on political sociology, is a PhD Candidate in the program "Democracy in Twenty-First Century" linked to the Centre for Social Studies (CES) at the University of Coimbra, Portugal. His theoretical framework is oriented to understand the evolution of political subjectivities and of the emerging forms of political participation vis-à-vis the possibilities afforded by chat apps. In so doing, his research aims at contributing to a nascent interdisciplinary debate about the evolution of collective action in relation to its digital backbone. He has approached digital activism inside WhatsApp private groups in the middle of 2016, when it was only a marginal phenomenon for chatting and "hanging out" with like-minded people. Sérgio has also launched the working notion of "WhatsApper", which was presented in a number of academic venues, such as: Federal University of Santa Catarina, Federal University of Minas Gerais, University of Coimbra, University of Porto, University of Évora, Autononomous University of Lisbon, University of Bremen, University of Barcelona, Pompeu Fabra University, University of Seville, Paris-Sorbonne University, Uppsala University, Umeå University, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Duke University, digital Harvard Kennedy School, Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society, Danish Institute at Athens, King's College of London, Loughborough University, Catholic University of Louvain, Institute for Social Movements Studies (IPB), etc. His research is cutting-edge, as he is positioning himself as one of the few and one of the first scholars to study WhatsApp from an interdisciplinary perspective combining sociology, media studies, and big data ethics. He seeks to promote an engaged research, which indicates an approach to social inquiry which aims at making a difference for the communities under study beyond the academic community.


Sérgio Barbosa is a PhD Candidate in the program "Democracy in the Twenty-First Century" linked to the Centre for Social Studies (CES) at the University of Coimbra and a Sylff (Ryoichi Sasakawa Young Leaders Fellowship Fund) fellow sponsored by Tokyo Foundation for Policy Research. The Sylff Fellowship Fund aims at driving leaders within the humanities and social sciences capable to foster social change worldwide. Sérgio is research associate of DATACTIVE team, University of Amsterdam. He is a member of the Technopolitics - a "Latin" research network connecting Brazil and Ecuador with Spain, Portugal and Italy. He's also an active member of "# Big Data from the South" initiative. His research explores WhatsApp for digital activism and social mobilization, focusing mainly on the following subjects: Democracy, Political Participation, Resistance, WhatsApp, Digital Activism.

To contact this fellow, email the Sylff Association at sylff[a] (replace [a] with @).