Navigation auf


ISEK - Department of Social Anthropology and Cultural Studies Social and Cultural Anthropology

Asymmetrical research structures

Assymetrical research structures


For many, research outside of their own cultural context is a central feature of anthropology as an independent discipline. A ‘look from the outside’ enables valuable perspectives on social phenomena, as the self-evident aspects of society come under investigation. However, the global scientific landscape is somewhat asymmetrical. While anthropologists from hegemonic regions of the world explore every inch of the rest of the globe, the opposite rarely happens. Instead, a large part of anthropological research by academics from South Asia, for example, is carried out in their own sub-continent. Although this is a simplified picture, it cannot be disputed that there are tremendous asymmetries in the way fieldwork is conducted in contemporary anthropology. These asymmetries are embedded in economic, institutional, structural and epistemological inequalities in the postcolonial scientific landscape. At our chair, we aim to investigate and challenge these inequalities. Accordingly, we support colleagues from South Asia in research projects in Switzerland and in Europe.