Our work is based on ethnographic research: detailed studies of societies and communities in which we have immersed ourselves via long term fieldwork. Placing the everyday lives and meanings of ordinary people - whoever and wherever they are - at the heart of the discipline, we take nothing for granted.
Anthropology has the power to subvert received wisdoms, to question commonplace assumptions and to explain the extraordinary. Study with us and see the world in a different way.
As Anthropologists at the LSE, we work in the best radical tradition of our discipline while constantly seeking to push this tradition in new directions.
We are passionate about our research and passionate about our teaching.
LSE Anthropology offers a dynamic and engaged research culture with a strong commitment to teaching and to promoting an inclusive environment.
We combine innovative research in the unfolding contemporary world with maintenance of the core anthropological traditions: long-term empirical research, commitment to a broad comparative enquiry on the nature of human sociality and human nature, and a constructive but critical engagement with social theory. Our weekly Friday morning Research Seminar has, since Malinowski's time, been the venue for cutting-edge, intensive debate on current research in the discipline.
We maintain extensive international links, and leading scholars in the discipline often come to LSE as academic visitors. In addition to permanent members of staff, our Postdoctoral Fellows and a large group of PhD students also make important contributions to the Department's research culture.
Anthropology has been taught at the LSE since 1904. The Department rose to prominence under Malinowski, who arrived in 1910 and developed what was to become British social anthropology. Many of the leading figures within this evolving tradition, and others whose work has built in new directions, have been associated with the LSE as students and/or teachers, including Raymond Firth, E.E. Evans-Pritchard, Hortense Powdermaker, Edmund Leach, Michael Taussig, Jean and John Comaroff, Maurice Bloch, and a great many others.
An emphasis on long-term anthropological fieldwork has always been a hallmark, and continues to be a strength, of the Department. Most members of staff, in addition to their responsibilities to students, conduct ongoing field research, which engages both with new research agendas and with well-established anthropological debates. Many members of staff also work at the intersections with other disciplines, including history, cognitive phychology, and religious studies.
The Department is decidedly international and our students - who have diverse academic backgrounds - come from all over the world. PhD students conduct their fieldwork in an equally wide range of settings; our website gives a complete list of current and past PhD theses supervised in the Department.