Social and Cultural Anthropology

What does it mean to be human in a global world?

What do people in diverse places share and how do they differ? How can we understand the relation between nature and culture? What makes societies change and how do people cope with such social transformations?

Anthropologists seek answers to just these sorts of questions. Through close-up studies of particular places and social collectives, anthropologists explore the diversity in how people live, think and interrelate. This involves sharing in people’s lives and tracing social phenomena at the local, national and global scale. Anthropologists study a broad spectrum of themes in the global South and North: transnational migration, (non-)religious movements, violence and conflict, markets and commodities, (trans)formations of kinship and gender, the influence of states, international organizations and global enterprises, as well as the role of material artefacts, new technologies and ecological crises in everyday life.

The research and teaching at the ISEK - Social Anthropology in Zurich reflect this wide range of study areas. The Department has a strong regional focus on Asia, but our researchers also conduct fieldwork in Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

Short film: Studying Social Anthropology in Zurich

Foto Yamsfest in Kalanga

Individuals and the social process in Kalanga (Togo)


Gruppenfoto Exkursion Zentralasien 2010

Upcoming Excursions and Summer Schools
There will be a a Summer School in India in the summer of 2023.