Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology

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The Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology began its work in 1999 and moved into its permanent building on Advokatenweg 36 in Halle/Saale in late 2001. Through multiple investigations of changing norms and values, living conditions and conflicts in postcolonial and postsocialist settings, researchers analyse thematic fields that often stand in the limelight of political discussion, such as: ethnicity and identities, conflict management, religion and civil society, different legal approaches to natural resource management, transnational migrants and their incorporation, and the changing significance of the state versus the family as systems of social security.

The main theme of the Institute?s research programme can thus be summarised as the comparative analysis of contemporary social change, which also characterises the Institute?s contributions to anthropological theory building. Fieldwork is an essential part of almost all research projects as it facilitates close-up observation of processes at work in different societies.

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