Cultural Anthropology in Heidelberg
Socio-Cultural Anthropology is an empirical social and cultural science with a comparative perspective on the differences and similarities of human lifeworlds. The research objective is to observe, understand and describe the perspectives of human beings in their current social contexts.
The key research method is long-term ethnographic fieldwork, which includes the participation in everyday life of members of the societies and cultures in focus (‘participant observation’).
Focusing on complex connectivities and interdependencies of certain subareas of cultural dynamics and social practices, Socio-Cultural Anthropology has a holistic orientation.
The comparative, historically informed perspective facilitates the understanding of diverse cultural and social contexts as well as the reflection of the researcher's unquestioned norms, concepts, and practices, for example the production of knowledge and power. In this way, Socio-Cultural Anthropology contributes substantially to socio-critical discourses and to the understanding of socio-cultural processes of transformation.
The research priorities of the discipline are non-European countries; at the Institute of Anthropology in Heidelberg the regional focus is on Southeast Asia. Here, an emphasis is placed on theoretical approaches.