Research at our institute is based on the ethnographic method. We generate research data by interacting with the people whose social fields we study. Our methodological approach is mainly a qualitative one. It includes methods such as participant observation, unstructured and semi-structured interviews as well as the analysis of cultural artefacts. The choice of research topics and questions we work on is shaped by the interactions with those actors, giving our research a social meaning and making it relevant for our interaction partners.
Furthermore, our research draws on disciplinary and transdisciplinary debates. Through the comparative analysis of our own studies with those from a variety of other disciplines, we aim to produce generalizable findings, which allow us to engage in theory-building. It is for these reasons that our Institute is organised along the lines of thematic areas instead of geographical ones.
Our own research informs and enriches our teaching within the different degree programs. Thus, our main areas of specialisation are reflected in the different master’s programs.