OBJECTIVES, ORIENTATIONS, MEMBERSHIP

A. Objectives – Membership of the Greek Society for Ethnology.

1. In accordance with the article 3, paragraph 1 of the GSE Charter, the Greek Society for Ethnology promotes the study of Ethnological and Anthropological Sciences and any other science related to them. Thus it aims to study in scholarly fashion phenomena, the social, economic and cultural facts and events that shape and create a person’s culture as a member of society and of broader groups, such as ethnic groups and nations. Such study includes subjects such ethnology, social and cultural anthropology. It also comprehends ethnohistory, historical anthropology, the history of mentalities, ethnolinguistics, anthropological folklore, cultural ecology and physical anthropology, with an emphasis on sociobiology and human classification.

2. Ethnology, combined with Anthropology, is, in the view of the GSE, a discipline that belongs both to the humanities and to the social sciences. It is a discipline that mirrors the deep interest of man in understanding himself in the present and over time. One way of achieving this understanding is to aquire anthropological and ethnological knowledge, which offers an analysis and explanation of human behaviour and activity in terms of the questions that each era poses. Ethnology, therefore, is not so much a static, academic occupation as an especially dynamic discipline that operates from the perspectives of time, and of social and ideological space.

The GSE applies a holistic perspective to understanding Ethnology: it views the study and interpretation of different aspects of culture and society and the teaching and popularizing of it as elements of an uninterrupted whole, the parts of which must nevertheless communicate freely and creatively. The Society believes in a systematic Ethnological and Anthropological discipline which overrides academic boundaries and extends to social space, thus dealing with everyday and global issues. The ultimate purpose of this discipline is to create a better understanding of various cultures, thus bringing peoples of the earth closer to each other.

 

3. The points below summarise the academic orientations of the GSE.

a. To promote discourse relating to the role of Ethnology and Anthropology as disciplines belonging to the humanities.

b. To address the theoretical and methodological problems of these disciplines. The starting point for a dialogue on theoretical and methodological issues is the rejection of simple description. The Society welcomes leading academic trends and modern methodological theories, such as structural, structural-functional, comparative, statistical theories or the theory of collective mentalities. The Society promotes these theories in the context of dialogue and free critique, without being restricted by any particular school of thought.

c. To contribute to overcoming the weaknesses that ethnology faces in Greece due to lack of infrastructure for research. Towards this end, the GSE is planning a series of initiatives, such as the compilation of a bibliography containing studies referring to Greece, of an index of publications and the publication of unpublished theses, written at both Greek and foreign universities.

d. To open itself gradually to broader society. Such a move will be guided through contact and productive co-operation with similar associations and through taking public positions on issues concerning the development of ethnology in Greece. Generally, GSE, an institution whose aim is the study of culture, needs to make its presence felt wherever and whenever the circumstances demand it.

e. The Society’ s activities include the following:

a. Publication of the journal Ethnologhia, of independent series or other publications and of an e-journal, Ethnologhia on line.

b. Offering lectures and book presentations and organizing conferences etc.

c. Undertaking fieldwork trips and other research.

d. Research and study of topics concerning ethnology and anthropology in Greece and abroad and investigation in general of topics likely to promote the aims of the Society.

5. The Society was established by young scholars and others, such as holders of a first degree, postgraduate students, holders of doctorates and researchers. One of its main aims, therefore, is to create and maintain contact with young people and to attempt to attract them to the Society, an institution which aspires to contribute to the production of self-aware scholars in an egalitarian and collaborative environment.

Membership of the GSE is open to all whose scholarly interests and activity fall within the areas outlined here.