Social Anthropology studies humans as social and cultural beings. Anthropologists do field studies all over the world, researching such diverse phenomena as pilgrimages on Java and the cosmology of nano-scientists. Social Anthropology provides an understanding of the lives and thoughts of other people by introducing methodological and theoretical tools to open up alternative perspectives. An anthropological comparative and critical attitude adds new perspectives on our own as well as “other” societies.
The traditional focus of research activities in Anthropology on otherness has been combined, reformulated and developed into research on multicultural society, globalisation and how modern systems of technology, economy, health, and social administration constitute part of social processes that create contemporary society. There is a strong continuity on bringing lived life, the complexity of praxis and every day social interaction into the core of research. Anthropology at the School of Global Studies combines a long tradition of detailed empirical fieldwork based on participant observation, whether conducted on the Palestinian West Bank, in the Amazonian rain forest, or an ultra modern nano-lab, with theories of meaning, power, gender, globalisation, etc., creating a kind of “philosophy with people in it”. The core of ethnographic methods and analytic perspectives combined with field work and participant observation which guides the main bulk of Anthropological research has shown to be a quite unique epistemological base for scientific knowledge production.