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

Medicine (and Therapeutic Pluralism)



The far-reaching implications of the distinctions between health and sickness, between the normal and the pathological, obviously are of great social significance. Medical anthropology explores the profound effects of such distinctions on everyday life, both within and outside of professionalized institutions. This might be, for example, in the context of studies on the political economy of medicine, in investigations into public health issues or in explorations of the effects of different bio-politics.

Our research projects deal, among other things, with the micro-practices and social dynamics of everyday life in clinical settings. However, we also venture outside laboratories and clinics to investigate non-institutionalized therapeutic practices and their social embedding and influence. Above all, our investigations aim to take into account global and institutional asymmetries as we investigate knowledge production in postcolonial contexts, or explore how biomedical institutions and practices in different constellations are related to other forms of <knowledge formation> and accompanying practices.