Power, identity and politics

Anthropological studies of relations between political life, cultural processes, and the creation and re-creation of collective and individual identities, including religious, ethnic and national, is a broad field. This field has deep roots in anthropology.

Photo: Sametinget by Hanne Holmgren (Some rights reserved).


Research within this field at the Department of Social Anthropology works primarily with the following basic questions:

  • How can we best understand the relationship between political life and cultural processes?
  • How should one understand the relationship between power relations in society and the production and transformation of identities, including religious, ethnic or national?
  • In what ways are cultural forms and practices - and identities - created and changed through the state's activities?
  • What is the relationship between the construction of identities and forms of political activism and collective action at the “grassroots” level?
  • What is the relationship between the production of identities, government activities and forms of transnational flows - such as international migration, global trade and tourism?
  • In what ways do forms of political violence - such as repression, war, torture and terror - affect the production and reproduction of identity?

This field - or the interest in the connections between politics, culture and identity - has long constituted an important field of research and teaching at the department. A considerable number of the department’s researchers work in this field. The department is committed to further developing this tradition.

Published Sep. 19, 2011 4:00 PM - Last modified Feb. 16, 2012 11:01 AM