History and Overview of the Department
The Department’s profile and objectives
Profile: The Department of Social Anthropology at Panteion University was inaugurated in 2004. It is the only department in the country that offers undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral studies, exclusively in social anthropology. The Department’s mission is to develop the study of Social and Cultural Anthropology in an interdisciplinary perspective that includes History, Social and Political Philosophy, Law and Criminology, Social and Cultural Geography, Gender Studies, Linguistics and Discourse Analysis, and Cultural and Postcolonial Studies. We emphasize the advancement of anthropological theory and methodology, the nurturing of ethnographic research and (inter)cultural analysis. The Department promotes the transnational and translocal approach to social and cultural phenomena, covering a wide geographical range at a research level.
Objectives: Our aim is to offer students specialized knowledge and scientific methodologies for the study of contemporary social and cultural phenomena. The Department’s study programs – at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels – focus on the themes of kinship ideologies and technologies, contemporary nationalisms, migration and population movements, otherness and education, social suffering and biopolitics, religious rituals and religious movements, space and urban planning, labor and precarity, economy and culture, “commons” and alternative economy, material culture, the state and political institutions, citizenship, humanitarianism and civil society, gender and sexuality, arts, popular and visual culture, language and public discourse, technology and digital culture, the politics of health/illness and disability, social movements and rights. The Department offers undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral study programs. At postgraduate level the department the two-year MA Program "Social and Cultural Anthropology" and it participates in the Interdepartmental MA Program "Gender, Society, Politics”.
Research activity of the department: The Department maintains an active and consistent participation in research programs funded by national, European and international bodies (Hellenic Foundation for Research and Innovation, State Scholarships Foundation, Marie Curie, European Commission, ERC). In order to support the Department’s research activity, post-doctoral research, which is carried out under the supervision of members of the teaching staff, constitutes original research that strengthens the areas of specialization taught at the department and/or similar territories of interest.
The Anthropological Research Laboratory was founded in 2017 with the aim of contributing to the investigation and development of theoretical and methodological interdisciplinary exchanges in order to explore new, emerging tendencies of carrying out, writing and perceiving anthropology today. More specifically, the laboratory aims to contribute to the convergence of research and academic teaching and to encourage the research involvement of graduate and postgraduate students, PhD candidates and postdoctoral researchers.
The “Wednesday Seminars” hold a prominent position in the research strategy of the Department and its connection with the rest of the academic community and the wider society. These public seminars are dedicated to a specific overarching theme each semester and they host the presentation and discussion of ethnographic work currently in progress. They are a site of academic contact and dialogue among the teaching and research staff of the Department and they are principally oriented toward PhD candidates and postgraduate students.
Given the interdisciplinary character and its active orientation towards international networking, the Department has become a point of reference for foreign researchers and students, as it participates in both European and non-European networks such as ERASMUS+ and Erasmus+/International Mobility. The Department exchanges students with major European and other international universities each semester, while faculty members actively partake in the foundation and operation of international academic organizations, such as the European Association of Social Anthropologists (EASA), the American Anthropological Association (AAA), the International Association for Southeast European Anthropology (InASEA) and the Modern Greek Studies Association (MGSA).
Career prospects: The Department of Social Anthropology prepares students with skills and academic/research competencies which support systematic and comparative ethnographic analysis, the implementation of epistemologically and socially sensitive approaches, and the comprehension of social, cultural and political phenomena, while promoting the cultivation of an innovative perspective and the familiarization of students with new technologies and the affordances of digital culture. Therefore, social anthropologists can develop their professional activity in a wide range of public and private sector areas, including international organizations and non-governmental organizations by applying their specialization in areas such as education, research centers, ethnographic museums, and various other workplaces; furthermore, they may seek work as consultants to national/regional or local bodies, such as Ministries, Local Offices, Independent Authorities, Health and Social Security services, technology and digital culture agencies in general. In an era of specialization, rapid development of technology and digital media, multifactorial and multilevel crisis, when the understanding of diversity (ethnic, cultural, gender, moral, social) is a fundamental democratic condition for coexistence, the aforementioned skills render graduates of the Department of Social Anthropology absolutely necessary and highly employable actors in the workplace.