How do people interpret natural disasters and which role does power play in that context? How does mining transform women’s understanding of sexuality and intimacy? How do diaspora organisations affect the development arena? How do people deal with violence and its consequences? The questions are many and complex.
In the first stage, you are confronted with general questions such as "What is culture?" and "What is identity?". You will study many forms of human agency and consider different ways in which people across the world deal with social problems.
During this first stage, you start developing your own research by looking for a topic and supervisor, developing a research focus and preparing empirical research to support your final master's thesis.
You will deepen and further develop your research skills in the second stage of the programme while conducting research for your master's thesis and participating in the Research Seminar.
Experienced professors and early-career researchers of the faculty's research units (IARA & IMMRC) will introduce you to the most recent developments in anthropology. Your own research interests and focus will inform your choice of electives to round out your programme.
Are you eager to broaden your horizons by completing part of your studies abroad? As an anthropology student you can choose to conduct empirical research - fieldwork - in Belgium, another country, or both.
In the second stage, you have the opportunity to study for one semester at a (non-)European university within the context of the Erasmus exchange programme. The Faculty has agreements with universities in and outside of Europe and also offers various summer schools.
If you are interested in researching social change or development, you can organise fieldwork and an Erasmus exchange within the framework of the European Certificate in Anthropology of Social Dynamics and Development.
Through empirical research, social and cultural anthropology investigates the differences and similarities between cultures. Thus it wants to shed light on the historical, social political and cultural processes that shape society. This master programme wants to both introduce and specialize students into this fascinating domain. This double goal is reflected in the programme's structure. The latter further emphasises
A graduate in the Master of Science in Social and Cultural Anthropology is capable of designing and carrying out original research and communicating its findings. Also, s/he has the ability to critically evaluate existing research. To this purpose, s/he has a solid and active knowledge of anthropological methods and techniques, of the existing cultural and ethnological diversity and of past and current anthropological paradigms, themes and theories.
Graduates of anthropology find employment in numerous areas including:
The Master of Cultural Anthropology and Development Studies (CADES) aims to enhance the multidisciplinary and intercultural expertise and skills of students and professionals involved in or interested in advisory, policy or educational assignments in the international and development sectors. Rooted in contemporary social and cultural anthropology, the programme draws on various disciplines and fields of study and deploys a wealth of relevant perspectives. Its approach builds on current insights into the complex dynamics of on-going economic and informational globalisation and the development of multiple modernities, inter alia.
Following multi-sited research conducted at the Institute for Anthropological Research in Africa (IARA) and the Interculturalism, Migration and Minority Research Centre (IMMRC), the programme counters the mainstream Western perspective and stimulates an integrated approach to development issues. Taking this into account, the programme does not offer its students a practical toolkit, but rather tends to question whether available tools are suitable and applicable in any given context.
Having learned to relate domain-specific knowledge within the evolving international debates, our graduates go on to a large variety of jobs in ngo’s, international organisations, development cooperation, education, social and medical services, advisory organisations, international relations, enterprises, and research.
During the programme, students have the opportunity to carry out an internship and acquire international experience. The internship can be included in the curriculum provided that it covers at least 6 weeks and starts after classes have finished (end of June). Students taking up the internship can only complete the CADES programme after 1 and a half years.
Ideal prospective students have an interest in advocacy, policy or educational assignments in the international and/or intercultural cooperation context. They are interested in anthropological and cultural-specific views on sustainable development and opt for an interdisciplinary academic preparation towards a better understanding of development paradigms.
The aim of the programme is to increase the student's interdisciplinary and intercultural expertise with a view to fulfilling advisory, policy-making and educational functions within international and/or intercultural development and cooperation. This is achieved by providing them with conceptual and practical experience in the processes of information transmission, international cooperation, globalization and cultural assertiveness. The programme places the accent on anthropology, but is relevant to various academic disciplines.
By the end of the programme, the student will have acquired:
CADES offers students a broad international and interdisciplinary background with which to confront developmental issues from an anthropological perspective. Graduates find employment in:
The Master’s programme in Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology teaches students how to do research into the ways in which people experience and cope with global problems at the small scale of their everyday. You will study people who may live lives that are economically fragile, in environments damaged by pollution or disaster or feel they lack the rights of full citizens in the country where they live. However, they manage to survive, keep up hope and laugh with each other despite these difficulties. You will learn to research how people acquire the resilience that allows them to cope with them, and how they maintain continuity in a world that is often difficult to handle.
Through the experience of ethnographic research, you will learn how to enter and participate in another world, and to understand it without becoming trapped in the stereotypes of our own. To this end, experienced researchers co-opt students into their own research specialties and train them to work in field research sites that they select and organize together. Intensive coaching by individual supervisors, course teachers, and field research trainers prepares students for your personal field research project. This also speeds up the process of settling in a field site, understanding its research context, and acquiring the skills and art of reporting results to an audience in an academically responsible way.
The Master’s programme in CA/DS offers a unique set of choices: you can join staff members in their Global Ethnography research specialties; you can work with a company, a museum or an NGO in a Policy in Practice project; or you can set up a Visual Ethnography project (subject to previous training). The staff members who supervise these projects are experienced and enthusiastic ethnographers who are proud of the way their MSc transfers skills to students. Staff members are actively involved in the Field Schools in West Africa (Ghana), Southeast Asia (Indonesia and the Philippines) and the Netherlands, because they offer students the most effective road to a good research result. Alternative sites become available, however, through (for example) Policy in Practice projects.