Social anthropology focuses on the social and cultural diversity and richness of human life. Classical anthropology focused on non-European cultural contexts, while contemporary anthropological research is equally interested in European and non-European socio-cultural contexts. In addition, the Finnish contemporary society is often studied through anthropological lenses.
The ethnographic research method, meaning participant observation, is the key methodological approach in social anthropology. In other words, the researcher participates in the lives of the people he or she studies; the aim is to understand the local ways of thinking and acting. At the same time, however, the analysis of local life is embedded in global structures and processes, linking local and global to each other throughout the research process. Anthropologists typically provide a rich cultural contextualisation, while posing critical analytic question. Anthropological research addresses many burning societal questions, ranging from migration and cultural diversity to religious change or environmental and health issues by providing culturally rich and conceptually sharp analyses.
The anthropology community at Tampere University is active and lively, and it consists of teaching staff, researchers and doctoral candidates. We teach at Bachelor’s, Master’s and doctoral levels. With five other disciplines we teach in the Bachelor’s Degree Programme in Social Sciences; and in the Master’s programme, social anthropology is one of the major subjects.
Anthropologists not only work in universities; anthropological expertise is called for in a variety of branches and positions in municipalities and the state administration, in international and local NGOs, museums and the art field, corporations and their marketing or HR administration, crisis management, consulting agencies, immigrant services and organisations, for example legal aid for migrants.
Background image: Susanne Dahlgren