Humans are social beings. Anthropology is all about what this means for how we arrange our lives, organise our society and perceive the world around us – everywhere on earth. How are people's worlds different and how do they experience the world differently – across societies or within the same society? And still what is it that we have in common? Which local and global, visible and invisible structures of society influence our opportunities to act in the world?
Central themes in anthropology include kinship, exchange, religion and rituals in the entire world. New focus areas at the department of anthropology are among other things how modern technology and media influence the organisation of society; organisational environment and work life; migration and ethnic identity; conflict resolution in political hot spots; traditional healthcare systems and modern medical treatment; as well as people's reactions towards global climate changes. In addition to Denmark and Europe, we have research projects in South and Southeast Asia, the Middle East, the Pacific Ocean, Africa and the Arctic.
The research method of anthropology is based on long-term ethnographic fieldwork where we observe and participate in the lives of the people, whom we are trying to understand. The in-depth fieldwork gives a unique insight into why people act and think as they do.
The ethnographic fieldwork has always been central to anthropology, however, with globalisation and the development of new technology, the ethnographic fieldwork is changing and this affects the methods that we use. Visual Anthropology, which is one of the master's programme tracks at the department, has a special focus on the utilisation of visual media in the ethnographic fieldwork. The degree programs as a whole – no matter the specialisation – attach a great deal of importance to further developing a strong methodological profile for both research and teaching and ethnographic method is a central subject of the degree programmes. At master's-level a full semester has been allocated to carry out ethnographic fieldwork ahead of the writing of the thesis. Both private and public employers, who hire anthropologists, put a great amount of importance on the anthropologists' methodological and analytical experience with independent empirical studies. These skills the students will attain through fieldwork.
The department of Anthropology is among the strongest academic environments in Europe and the department attracts guest-researchers, PhD-students and students from across the world. Our teaching is deeply anchored in our research with particular specialisations within globalisation and development, innovation and design, medical as well as visual anthropology. In addition to educational programs in Anthropology from bachelor to PhD level, the department of Anthropology also offers a master's degree in Human Security, supplementary subjects in anthropology and sociology respectively, as well as a one-year master in health anthropology.