Nathalie Béchet is an esteemed digital anthropology researcher at L’Atelier BNP Paribas, based in Paris, France. Her career melds her rich background in cultural anthropology and data science, allowing her to develop innovative hybrid research methods. Béchet identifies and assesses emerging technologies, analyzing their markets, industries, and the broad social and environmental consequences. Her specialization encompasses the virtual economy, future of work, online radicalization, ethics of algorithms, and the influence of social media on personal identity and mental health.
From October 2019, Béchet has been instrumental in L’Atelier BNP Paribas’ research, using online ethnography and data sciences to study both niche and mainstream communities, as well as computer-mediated practices. Through her work, she produces vital content such as research reports and articles that shed light on the implications of the digital shift in society. Her contributions extend to technology intelligence, assistance in diverse SaaS development, and participation as a speaker at relevant events.
In January 2020, Béchet was part of the Digital Methods Initiative Data Sprint 2020 at the Universiteit van Amsterdam. During this one-week team project, she contributed her expertise in social sciences and data mining methods for a cross-subReddit analysis of political figures’ appropriation and rejection. Being part of one of Europe’s leading Internet Studies research groups, she engaged in cutting-edge methods to study online platforms, further solidifying her position in the field.
Prior to her work at L’Atelier, Béchet conducted an anthropological ethnographic study in Taipei City, Taiwan, from September 2017 to May 2019. As a junior researcher in social sciences, she led a three-month field investigation that culminated in her master’s thesis, titled “The uses of office fengshui in Chinese entrepreneurial architecture.” The study, held under the supervision of LESC-CNRS researcher Adeline Herrou and awarded with honors, investigated the local beliefs and religiosity impacting Chinese businessmen and their workspaces. Béchet’s diverse research experience and commitment to understanding the intricate relationship between technology and society mark her as a significant figure in the field of digital anthropology.