How are boundaries of belonging and ideas of relatedness defined and negotiated in times of globalisation? How do new reproductive technologies or transnational practices change family life and transform discourses on femininity and masculinity? How do class, race, age, sexuality, or religious identities intersect with gendered bodies? These and other questions are addressed in various ways in the research that we do at ISEK Social Anthropology. Our research focuses on the ways in which diverse genders are constituted in bodily practices, as well as intersect variously with notions of kinship and sexuality — including forms of gender transitivity and queerness. We explore these intersections by looking at concrete bodily practices and asking questions of personhood, morality, and identity. From an exploration into Indian LGBTQ* subjectivities and activism, to a multi-sited study on the transnational lives of Indonesian domestic workers in Malaysia, or an investigation into beauty ideals and practices in the Tibetan autonomous region, this theme covers a multitude of past and present ethnographic projects conducted by members of our department.
By following feminist, queer, and intersectional approaches, we also inquire into the methodological role of gender as a critical category. How do we deal with our own embodied and gendered presence as anthropologists “in the field”? And how can we reconfigure our methods to account for structural inequalities in the way in which academic knowledge is (re)produced?