Welcome to Anthropology in Heidelberg
What is anthropology?
Anthropology aims to understand social patterns and practices worldwide through the comparative study of societies and by the examination of social change. Anthropologists explore the ways in which social processes create meaning in people's lives. Taking the full range of social and cultural diversity as a point of departure, we study things such as ritual and performance, gender and kinship, political and economic relations, media and nationalism, environment and health.
Research in social anthropology is characterized by an emphasis on participatory, often multi-sited fieldwork, which involves placing oneself in the research context for extended periods of time. Anthropologists today are likely to be found working in both rural and urban settings, in places such as factories, archives, everyday spaces of the home or on the internet. Not taking for granted ideas of the universality of what is human and social, anthropologists endeavor to engage with local customs and practices in and on their own terms. You can find anthropologists working at a variety of places: at universities, museums, NGOs, in journalism, government agencies, or businesses.