The tribalising of cities. Urban anthropology and the functionalist paradigm

The tribalising of cities. Urban anthropology and the functionalist paradigm

Over the years, urban anthropology has gained its status among disciplines of research. Anthropologists’ interest was stimulated by historical events and geo-political changes that allowed the start of research related to the entire process of urbanisation for countries in development. However, in industrialised societies, this investigation was implemented later on, and the methods used were of an ethnological nature, utilised mainly for the investigation of African tribal communities. As a result, the anthropological research of cities was viewed through the means of social-urban formations that permitted the externalisation of certain holistic points of view over composite projections of individuals. Nowadays, urban research strives for the understanding of processes specific to cities, which offer a unique and empirical approach to communities seen in a restricted context, as well as the effects that the global process has on the life of the individual and of the entire community.

Following these general directions of interest, the conference aims to explore the landscapes and communities of cities, both within their limited context, as well as at a global level, using a functionalist paradigm to explain the way they function and are organised.

This kind of urban investigation takes into account interactions between economy, politics and cultural aspects in a comprehensive manner. Each element must be contextualised in its national, state and global backgrounds. Thus, the urban may become a uniform space where great internal divisions with characteristic traits can persist. The method and position the researcher takes to look over these aspects generate different images and interpretations of the urban. As a result, the anthropology symposium aims to examine the city, the city dweller and the methodology of urban anthropology. The main themes of the symposium are:

1. The city: geographic environment, historical and social-cultural transformations;
2. Man in the city: the impact of society’s transformations on the human body and behaviour;
3. Urban anthropology: methods and technical innovations.

The 4th edition of the Bucharest Municipality Museum’s Urban Anthropology Symposium will take place on June 14th and 15th 2018. Applications and submissions are open until April 15th 2018, using the e-mail address antropologie@muzeulbucurestiului.ro. Confirmations to applicants will be sent out to participants by April 30th 2018.

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