Laboratory of Social Anthropology


[Philippe Descola]

Founded in 1960 by Claude Lévi-Strauss, then holder of the Chair in Social Anthropology at the Collège de France, the Laboratory of Social Anthropology has always had a broad mandate covering all the great themes of ethnology and social anthropology. Its research covers most parts of the world, including Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia, South and North America, Australia, Oceania and India.

The Laboratory reports to three institutions: the Collège de France (Chair in Anthropology of Nature), the CNRS (UMR 7130) and the EHESS. It has about fifty permanent members, both researchers and academics, and a hundred students preparing a thesis under their direction.

The unit provides the scientific community with research tools and means of publication. It houses the editorial departments of two reviews of the EHESS (the magazines L'Homme and Études rurales) as well as a collection published by Éditions de l'Herne entitled Cahiers d'Anthropologie Sociale. The Laboratory of Anthropology offers its readers a resource center consisting of a research library specializing in ethnology and another resource center on comparative studies (Human Relations Area Files - HRAF).

An internal seminar where research and the work of PhD students of the Laboratory are discussed is held the second Wednesday of each month.

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