The diversity and commonalities of human cultures and societies lie at the heart of social and cultural anthropology. Anthropologists study the ways of life of local communities, as well as the regional, national and global interdependencies in which these communities are involved. Thus, anthropologists investigate global processes such as capital flows, migration, health projects or digitisation initiatives, but give particular attention to their negotiation in local contexts. Anthropology aims to describe and understand these contexts and to explain specific aspects of human life and co-existence.

Openness to interdisciplinarity and international cooperation are central to our research and teaching. We regard the cultural and social sciences — which have grown together from different research traditions — as a joint, transnational undertaking. We seek new ways of collaboration, in particular with institutions and individuals in those regions where we conduct research (see Links).

Anthropology contributes greatly to current debates on cultural diversity and the relativity of values. It promotes critical thinking as well as sensitivity towards different ways of life and perspectives — key competencies for participation in the globalised world of the 21st century. Our team is therefore also committed to the public communication of anthropological perspectives and their social relevance.