Mascha Schulz: "Anthropology inspires me to question preconceptions and to rethink common assumptions – those that shape public debates or academic discourses, and those of my own.“

Mascha Schulz

Anthropology inspires me to question preconceptions and to rethink common assumptions – those that shape public debates or academic discourses, and those of my own.

Teresa Cremer: "Observing, encountering, being mindful and (un)learning to nurture curiosity about differences and the possibility of co-existence is a crucial part of what I understand as my work as anthropologist."

Teresa Cremer

Observing, encountering, being mindful and (un)learning to nurture curiosity about differences and the possibility of co-existence is a crucial part of what I understand as my work as anthropologist.

Danaé Leitenberg: “Anthropology allows me to understand how we individually and collectively experience and transform our unequal world.”

Danaé Leitenberg

Anthropology allows me to understand how we individually and collectively experience and transform our unequal world.

Javed Kaisar: "Anthropology allows me to explore human and non-human interactions and the political dimensions of everyday practices."

Javed Kaisar

Anthropology allows me to explore human and non-human interactions and the political dimensions of everyday practices.

"Insight must precede application." (Max Planck)

75 Years Max Planck Society

Insight must precede application. (Max Planck)

Hatem Elliesie: "The fundamental idea underlying my research is the desire to better understand the diversity of values and legal perceptions within a society."

Hatem Elliesie

The fundamental idea underlying my research is the desire to better understand the diversity of values and legal perceptions within a society.

Claudia Lang: “I am interested in how people rethink mental health in times of increasing digitalization and changing environments.”

Claudia Lang

I am interested in how people rethink mental health in times of increasing digitalization and changing environments.

Lukas Ley: "Anthropology allows me to unravel and build towards other futures."

Lukas Ley

Anthropology allows me to unravel and build towards other futures.

Abduletif Kedir Idris: "Anthropology allows me to explore the role of law in the struggle for justice in contexts devoid of rule of law."

Abduletif Kedir Idris

Anthropology allows me to explore the role of law in the struggle for justice in contexts devoid of rule of law.

Arne Harms: "Anthropology enables me to understand how people live with transforming environments."

Arne Harms

Anthropology enables me to understand how people live with transforming environments.

Bayar Dashpurev: "My work examines the effects of environmental rights in the south Gobi, where mining is the dominant activity."

Bayar Dashpurev

My work examines the effects of environmental rights in the south Gobi, where mining is the dominant activity.

Hanna Nieber: "Anthropology enables me to learn how people make sense of the world."

Hanna Nieber

Anthropology enables me to learn how people make sense of the world.

Sophie Nakueira: "With ethnographic methods I can capture how laws and policies are experienced by people in particular contexts and provide insights into why policies work or fail."

Sophie Nakueira

With ethnographic methods I can capture how laws and policies are experienced by people in particular contexts and provide insights into why policies work or fail.

Samiksha Bhan: "Anthropology enables me to explore how people make sense of disease and demand care in situations of marginality."

Samiksha Bhan

Anthropology enables me to explore how people make sense of disease and demand care in situations of marginality.

Biao Xiang: "I wish to explore what kinds of change are possible when we face deep uncertainty and structural stagnation at the same time."

Biao Xiang

I wish to explore what kinds of change are possible when we face deep uncertainty and structural stagnation at the same time.

Jing Jing Liu: "My research centers on an anthropology of Africa-Asia to question the endurance of Western hegemony and to imagine new futures for global citizens."

Jing Jing Liu

My research centers on an anthropology of Africa-Asia to question the endurance of Western hegemony and to imagine new futures for global citizens.

Andrew Haxby: "I continue to see anthropology as a lens for understanding the meaning of everyday life, one that is well suited for making sense of how our world is transforming."

Andrew Haxby

I continue to see anthropology as a lens for understanding the meaning of everyday life, one that is well suited for making sense of how our world is transforming.

Desirée Kumpf: "Ich erforsche, wie Menschen Umweltpolitik in ihrem Alltag begegnen, etwa grünem Wachstum oder neuen Naturschutzansätzen wie rewilding."

Desirée Kumpf

I study how people engage with environmental politics in their daily lives – for example, Green Growth or new conservation approaches like rewilding.

Christoph Brumann: "Urban development, UN operations, Buddhist economies – anthropology helps me to make sense of modern institutions and their contradictions."

Christoph Brumann

Urban development, UN operations, Buddhist economies – anthropology helps me to make sense of modern institutions and their contradictions.

Julia Vorhölter: "Anthropology allows me to question the taken-for-granted; it reminds me that things could be different and helps me to understand why they are not."

Julia Vorhölter

Anthropology allows me to question the taken-for-granted; it reminds me that things could be different and helps me to understand why they are not.

Rishabh Raghavan: “My political commitments are frequently challenged, refined and subsequently defined by the field of social anthropology.”

Rishabh Raghavan

My political commitments are frequently challenged, refined and subsequently defined by the field of social anthropology.

News

Paralleljustiz – reliance on “parallel” justice to resolve conflicts – is often invoked as a threat to the rule of law in Germany. But does such an informal system of extrajudicial justice in ...

The International Max Planck Research School (IMPRS) “Global Multiplicity: A Social Anthropology for the Now” welcomes its first cohort in fall 2023. We spoke with coordinator Patrick Desplat about ...

Ursula Rao, the Managing Director of the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology (MPI) has been elected a member of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities (BBAW), receiving her ...


Publications


Redesigning justice for plural societies: case studies of minority accommodation from around the globe
The nomadic Leviathan. A critique of the Sinocentric paradigm
Glimpses of hope. The rise of industrial labor at the urban margins of Nepal
Hailing the state. Indian democracy between elections
Flucht- und Flüchtlingsforschung. Handbuch für Wissenschaft und Studium
How Terrorists Learn. Organizational learning and beyond
Broken glass, Broken class. Transformations of work in Bulgaria
Religious accommodation and its limits
Dynamics of identification and conflict. Anthropological encounters
Integrating strangers. Sherbro identity and the politics of reciprocity along the Sierra Leonean coast
Der lange Atem kolonialer Bilder. Visuelle Praktiken von (Ex-)Soldaten und ihren Familien in Südtirol/Alto Adige 1935-2015
Self as method. Thinking through China and the world

Media


Nina Glick-Schiller on How Segregation obstructs Migrants to enter in City-making Processes

Spot On | Nina Glick-Schiller

Video
Nina Glick-Schiller’s research challenges the narratives that nationalist politicians tell us about migration. Migrants face the difficulties of re-settlement, build cities and eventually make up the social fabric of the city over time. Nonetheless, since housing and cost of living in the city center become more expensive, migrants get pushed to periphery. This makes it more difficult for migrants to enter in city-making processes.
Frontiers of Belonging. The Education of Unaccompanied Refugee Youth

Frontiers of Belonging. The Education of Unaccompanied Refugee Youth

Video
In this Read On, Annika Lems talks about her recently published book: Frontiers of Belonging. The Education of Unaccompanied Refugee Youth. She addresses the specifics of Swiss integration policy. This provides for special integration classes for unaccompanied refugee minors in order to give them access to the Swiss education and labour market and thus to society. But how well does this system, which is comparable to the refugee policies of many other European countries, work?
Traces of Violence: Writings on the Disaster in Paris, France

Traces of Violence: Writings on the Disaster in Paris, France

Video
In this Book Chat, Jovan Maud moderates a discussion of the book Traces of Violence: Writings on the Disaster in Paris, France with its authors, Robert Desjarlais and Khalil Habrih, and MPI Director Ursula Rao. The conversation explores Desjarlais and Habrih's unique dialogical approach to writing about the ramifications of the 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris, the unusual methodologies they employed, the difficulties of writing about violence, and the role of haunting and spectrality in their accounts.
samiksha Bhan on Genetic Diagnostics in India

Spot On | Samiksha Bhan

Video
Samiksha Bhan talks about her research on genetic diagnostics in India. Samiksha's research looks at how the categorization of people and communities into 'high risk' and 'low risk' groups can lead to both new types of discrimination as well as collective action to demand care for their condition. Through her ethnography with patients, doctors and geneticists, she reflects on what kind of political and ethical consequences emerge when the community or caste group is identified as the basis of genetic risk.
Samuel Williams on Istanbul markets and the Anthropology of International Trade

Spot On | Samuel Williams

Video
Through the study of contemporary commerce in three historic marketplaces in Istanbul, Samuel Williams, tells us about how international trade has shaped one of Europe’s major cities. Drawing together history and ethnography, an anthropology of markets not only helps us to compare how markets used to work and how they work today, but hopefully to theorise various ways markets may come to work in the future.
Book Chat | The Dawn of Everything

Book Chat | The Dawn of Everything

Video
In this video, the two anthropologists Christoph Brumann (MPI for Social Anthropology, Halle) and Thomas Widlok (University of Cologne) talk about the fascinating bestseller by David Graeber and David Wengrow "The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity".
Jing Jing Liu on Plural money and the ambivalent lives of Nigerian migrants in China

Spot On | Jing Jing Liu

Video
Jing Jing Liu conducts research on Nigerians living in China. She conceptualizes the ambivalence of living in China while wishing to live somewhere else – an ambivalence that organizes their social relations and economic lives as migrants. In the same context she investigates the plurality of money and how people are using international, national and crypto currencies and how they are evaluating these different kinds of money beyond their numerical values.
Milana Cergic on Supermarkets, Labour and Solidarity in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Spot On | Milana Čergić

Video
Milana Cergic examines the transformations brought about by the success of a local supermarket chain in the city of Tuzla. The private company takes the place of the often absent state in post-socialist Bosnia and Herzegovina and positions itself as a negotiating partner for security and stability, but equally reinforces precarious working conditions.
Monks, Money and Morality: The Balancing Act of Contemporary Buddhism

Monks, Money and Morality: The Balancing Act of Contemporary Buddhism

Video
In this Book Chat Jovan Maud talks with the editors of the book Monks, Money and Morality: Christoph Brumann, Saskia Abrahms-Kavunenko and Beata Świtek. Vibrantly engaging contemporary Buddhist lives, this book focuses on the material and financial relations of contemporary monks, temples, and laypeople. It shows that rather than being peripheral, economic exchanges are key to religious debate in Buddhist societies.
Anu Krishna on Entanglements of Caste and Gender in the Making of Indian Small Cardamom

Spot On | Anu Krishna

Video
Anu Krishna’s work illustrates the story of Indian small cardamom: how the production, processing, and distribution of the spice is located within the nexus of caste-class-gender relations of Indian society. In doing so, she explains how cardamom trade in the Indian Ocean World shapes the everyday lives of her interlocutors.
Andrew Haxby on Landownership, kinship and finance in Kathmandu

Spot On | Andrew Haxby

Video
Andrew Haxby talks about landownership, kinship and finance in Kathmandu. He began his research 2015, three months before Nepal was hit by a massive earthquake which led to a lot of questions on earthquake reconstruction folding into his former research interests. Including these he is emphasizing on the juncture between families/communities and formal institutions and their understanding of landownership.
Julia Vorhölter on Sleep and Sleeplessness in Germany

Spot On | Julia Vorhölter

Video
Julia Vorhölter’s research is situated at the intersections between psychological, medical, and political anthropology. Her current project focuses on sleep and sleeplessness in Germany and is based on fieldwork in a sleep laboratory. She is interested in how knowledge about sleep is produced and how this knowledge is being applied in the diagnosis and treatment of disordered sleep.
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