European Ethnology

 In German-speaking countries, European Ethnology (Cultural Anthropology) stands in the tradition of the academic subject “Volkskunde”. Within the research centre (FZ) HiMAT, European Ethnology (Cultural Anthropology) concentrates its attention on mining activities in modern industrial times. In doing so it considers the decline and revival of mining, as well as its “second life” in the context of musealisation and the culture of remembrance. From case to case the period of investigation goes back to the 18th century, but basically it concentrates on the second half of the 19th and the 20th century. Our approach can be described with the term “Ethnography”, which is used in the context of (European) Ethnology, Historical Sciences and Sociology. ”Ethnography” means a form of research which tries to give a “thick description” (Geertz) and analysis of the culture and everyday life of lower and middle classes, with the historical and the present-day context in mind. In doing so, qualitative methods like participant observation and narrative interviews are used to achieve results, as well as approaches in the fields of media studies, material culture studies, visual anthropology, discourse analysis and historical ethnography.