Titleimage: Institute of Social Anthropology

Social Anthropology is the study of people in their specific social and cultural contexts. The methods at its core – participatory observation, a holistic understanding of the subject, and ethnographic representation – have been successfully adapted in the light of the increasingly global influences on those contexts and extended to cover more and more new areas of research. While the main focus of interest may still be local living environments, nowadays these are interpreted in the context of national and global processes and the mobility of the groups that are being studied. For that reason, researchers also apply methods drawn from related disciplines which allow them to study and analyze the broader contexts surrounding local living environments. Social anthropologists are interested both in the cultural differences within and between societies and also in the common ground that can be found to exist even between geographically and culturally separate societies. The comparative analysis of these different ways in which humans live together is fundamental to social anthropological scientific understanding.