Anthropological Research

Within this theme is work that uses anthropological theories and methods to develop insights into different aspects of contemporary societies around the world, such as the environment, ethics, health, language, law, politics and religion. Since the original Department was founded fifty years ago, anthropological research has been conducted continuously by successive generations of staff and students at the University of Glasgow.

Among the various important contributions made by anthropologists based at the University, those of two late colleagues can be highlighted.

Simon Charsley conducted doctoral research in Uganda, following this with highly influential work on, among other topics, sericulture in India, the changing nature of caste, and matrimony in Scotland.

Nicole Bourque’s work was focussed, initially, on the investigation of popular religious belief and syncretism in Ecuador and Bolivia, but she went on to study religious education in schools, corporate ‘away days’ and symbolic struggles over pilgrimage routes and pilgrim identities.

Current and recent research by staff and doctoral students at University of Glasgow includes work on a number of areas of anthropology, including, but not limited to, the environment, religious experience, the body/embodiment, language, migration, drug use and health, including one health and more-than-human socialities. We have a strong regional focus on East Africa (notably Tanzania, Ethiopia and Uganda) and Europe (in particular, Bulgaria, France and the UK).

Our work takes in a number of theoretical perspectives, including applied and interdisciplinary anthropology, science and technology studies, and visual anthropology. As anthropologists, we are committed to using research to better understand the world, inform policy and practice, and contribute to developments in theory. This comes out through our work as members of interdisciplinary projects as well as our individual research.