Anthropological Research examines how people navigate the complexity of making and maintaining ordinary lives in the context of the Socio-Economic, Political and Institutional arrangements that shape social worlds.
Ethnography – the description of social and cultural similarity and difference – commences with the everyday lives of Research Participants. The approach rests on the assumption that social relations are made not given and that these relations make sense when viewed in context. The value of such an approach is that it is grounded in the actual lives of individuals and groups of people. Our knowledge engages with ‘on the ground’ realities, rather than solely with texts or with what people say about what they do.
Anthropologists ask questions that are not generally asked; exploring Meanings, Patterns, Rituals, Silences, eliciting the profound complexity of ordinary life and common sense. Our methods are ideal for comprehending both past and present situations of social upheaval and transformation, such as those associated with Industrial Labour and Labour Migration, Urbanization, Political Conflict and Democratisation, and the necessity of strangers to live productively and peaceably with one another.
The value of this approach rests in the fact that what people say they do, think they do and actually do are not always congruent and may even be contradictory. Close attention to all three facets enables us to shed light on complex questions.