Postdoctoral Position

The Department “Anthropology of Economic Experimentation” @MaxAnthropology is offering a position in digital communication and common concerns; application deadline: 31 December 2022



The Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology is one of the leading centres for research in social anthropology. Common to all research projects at the Max Planck Institute is the comparative analysis of social change; it is primarily in this domain that its researchers contribute to anthropological theory, though many programmes also have applied significance and political topicality.

The Department “Anthropology of Economic Experimentation” is offering

1 Postdoctoral position
in digital communication and common concerns

(starting as early as possible after 1 March 2023)

Essential Duties & Responsibilities
Applicants must have carried out in-depth field research related to digital communication, with a particular focus on interactions among political economy, communication technologies and people’s subjective perceptions of life experiences. They should be committed to broad conceptualization beyond case studies and contributing to the “common concerns” approach. As the shared style of thinking that defines the Department, this approach identifies research questions not according to gaps in academic knowledge, but through understanding the concerns people are grappling with in their everyday lives and which reflect their subjective experience of objective social contradictions. Common concerns include deep apprehension about the future, feelings of powerlessness despite material abundance, increasing pressure in all domains of life, an insatiable desire for convenience and lack of patience, the breakdown of public dialogue, and many others. The Department seeks to explore how these concerns, expressed by particular populations in specific social contexts, are shaped by the way communication is organized, and how they relate to political economy, in both their causes and their consequences.

Your Profile
Applicants should hold a Ph.D. in anthropology, sociology or a related discipline or submit evidence indicating that such a dissertation will be successfully completed before the designated starting date.

Our offer
The postdoctoral position will be for a duration of two years, renewable for a third year. Employment will be on a full-time contractual basis. Remuneration is in accordance with the Collective Wage Agreement for the Civil Service (TVöD, level E13). The workplace is Halle (Saale), a dynamic, historical town in central Germany (Sachsen-Anhalt) that is home to the renowned Martin Luther University and numerous scientific institutions. Our modern campus is in a quiet, picturesque neighbourhood near the centre of town.

The Max Planck Society is committed to raising the proportion of women in science; we thus explicitly encourage applications from female researchers. Individuals with disabilities will be given priority, assuming equal qualifications.

Please submit your application electronically by 31 December 2022 by following the link for vacancies on our homepage.

Applicants are asked to submit following materials:
  • cover letter
  • CV, including list of publications
  • 2 writing samples (chapter or article length)
  • 1-2 page summary of Ph.D. thesis
  • short (1-2 pages) project proposal
  • copies of university degrees
  • names of two referees

Informal enquiries concerning the positions may be directed to Dr. Biao Xiang (xiang[ at ]

If you have further questions regarding the application procedure, please contact:
Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology
Personnel Administration
Nadine Wagenbrett (wagenbrett[ at ]

We look forward to receiving your completed online application.


More details

Dr. Biao Xiang

xiang[ at ]