We study the world from a comparative perspective in which knowledge of other life-and thought-forms can throw a light on our own. Life forms to all parts of the world is now so entangled in each other to great contacts between East and West, North and South belong to what we see as most exciting. The fact that many of both our teachers and researchers and our students come to Stockholm University from other countries also helps to give perspective on the world.

The department has been doing much since the seventies with the change in rural areas of third world, partly on the basis of close cooperation with SIDA partly in the form of unfettered basic research. It has often been supply forms and social organization. Thanks to Emeritus Professor Ulf Hannerz it has also been an international leader in the development of urban anthropology. This has led to an interest in the study of complex societies and transnational cultural processes.

Much of the theoretical debate within the department concerning new theoretical concepts and tools for linking large-scale societal structures and processes of human actors and the level of interpretation and perspective, the latter built on the world. This emphasis on macro-anthropology has also created a space for the study of professions, organizations and networks that extend beyond national borders, and the flow of meanings and cultural forms through the media. It requires a methodological innovation in relation to the above-mentioned field work tradition - although the project at the department engaged in relatively traditional societies in the Third World, which is the context from which social anthropology has emerged.