Sustainability is one of the key concepts of our times, although a contested one. As the product of concerns about environmental degradation, climate alteration, rising socioeconomic inequalities, increasing mobility, and accelerated change, the term has many different meanings and imperatives: our lifeworlds must be environment-friendly, but also economically viable and socially equitable.
This Master’s program in Cultural Anthropology: Sustainable Citizenship, therefore, departs from an integrated understanding. It focuses on the triangle of People, Planet, and Profit, pointing out that sustainability has not only an environmental meaning, yet also an economic and sociocultural one. As such, the program seeks to understand how citizens worldwide are negotiating and restructuring their living environment to be safe and sustainable at the same time. It incorporates both local and global understandings of the concept of sustainability and, in doing so, scrutinizes various expressions of active citizenship in building sustainability around the world.
Anthropologists continually focus on cultural diversity and differences based on ethnicity, class, gender, age, and health. This Master’s program will equip you with the knowledge and skills to evaluate these facets of life and their interrelationships. During your studies, you will learn traditional anthropological methods and techniques (fieldwork, participatory observation, and qualitative interviews).
However, since anthropology is by definition engaged, you will move also toward engaged anthropology and explore collaborative ethnographic methods, such as participatory action research. In addition, you are introduced to related, innovative methodologies in, for example, the area of narrative and virtual ethnography, engaging in cutting-edge combinations of aesthetics, digital media, and ethnography. You will also discuss ethical dilemmas and your own social responsibility as an anthropologist.
The program offers you a comprehensive learning environment with an international and comparative perspective. You will have the opportunity to go abroad for your field research and research internship, and you can attend seminars of the research group Sovereignty and Social Contestation, to which international researchers and lecturers are regularly invited. This Master’s program is offered through the Department of Cultural Anthropology. Courses are taught by staff members with strong international reputations and standing like Dr. Diederick Raven, Dr. Annalisa Butticci and the Master's Program Director Dr. Yvon van der Pijl.
Intellectually Stimulating Program
We offer an intellectually stimulating program with a variety of work methods, in which you will be challenged to think critically about important and socially relevant themes, to formulate and to share your own arguments. You will formulate a research question that you will develop in a Master’s thesis using the theoretical knowledge acquired in the course modules and the empirical data that you gathered during fieldwork or a research internship.
We expect an active contribution from students in the form of discussions, book reviews, papers, and presentations. When preparing for the research, you will work on the research proposal in a tutorial group.
Research locations will be selected in consultation with the supervisor, with a large number of students conducting research in Latin America and the Caribbean, Africa and Europe (including the Netherlands).
This Master’s degree program will train you to work as an academic professional. Along with classic methods and skills, the program allows you to acquire applied and practice-focused skills, enabling you to flexibly switch between or integrate scientific theory and anthropological professional practice. Take a look at the portraits of our graduates for a better idea of the career prospects.
Do you want to pursue a career as a scientific researcher? If so, the Master’s program Cultural Anthropology: Sociocultural Transformation might be a better fit for your goals. This program concentrates on the issue of power and (violent) conflict versus the state, while the Master’s program in Cultural Anthropology: Sustainable Citizenship focuses on citizenship in relation to a sustainable living environment.