About the lab


Signifcant developments in the field of reproduction technology and transformations that occured in the social and legal context have changed remarkably family and kinship forms and have produced «new» units for analysis such as –for example- single-parent families, same-sex parents, surrogate mothers. Current trends in anthropology have responded to these «new» realities and have approached family and kinship as ever changing social forms and the relations among their members as biocultural phenomena. Through this prism family and kinship, parenthood, childhood and many other social relations related to human reproduction emerge as complex and fluid configurations. Currently the Lab of Family and Kinship Studies supports research in following fields:

  • family, reproduction and health
  • family, social vulnerability and migration (refugees)
  • anthropology of childhood

Topics of MA and PhD theses include:

  • motherhood in the prison (Greece)
  • new genetics and cognitive approaches in relation to illness and kinship (the case of thalassemia)
  • childrens’ friendship and recruitment into groups
  • birth, technology and the colonization of female bodies
  • chlidren as agents during the first years of elementary school
  • families of political refugees, violence and medical intrusion
  • body, sexuality and citizenship


I. 1/9/2006-31/01/20112011 Research Unit University of the Aegean funded program titled “Assisted Reproduction and Parenthood in Greece: Anthropological Approaches of Gender, Kinship and Biopolitcs” (5.000 euros)

Principal Investigator: Venetia Kantsa, Lecturer

Research Team: Deanna Trakas, Associate Proffesor, Efi Karveli MA Student, Maria Koraki MA Student, Natalia Poriki MA Student, Ourania Tsoukala MA Student (all team members are affiliated with the Department of Social Anthropology and History, University of the Aegean)

The research program focus on new reproductive technologies –specifically on assisted reproduction- in relation to gender, kinship and parenthood, and power relations. Through the use of qualitative methodologies (in-depth interviews and participant observation) we intend to research how women and men in Greece who have used assisted reproduction conceive and conceptualize gender and kinship relations in the context of emerging social and technological transformations. Moreover, special attention will be given to other contexts such as reproduction clinics and the law of assisted reproduction, in order to examine how specific social actors negotiate, abide or resist power discourses related to NRT.

II. 26/9/2013 – 25/9/2015 European Social Fund and General Secretariat of Research and Technology Greece funded program titled “(In)Fertile Citizens: On the Concepts, Practices, Politis and Technologies of Assisted Reproduction in Greece. An Interdisciplinary and Comparative Approach” (395.000 euros)

Principal Investigator: Venetia Kantsa, Assistant Professor

Research Team: Deanna Trakas, Professor University of the Aegean, Costas Canakis, Assistant Professor University of the Aegean, Christos Bellas, Assistant Professor University of the Aegean, Lina Papadopoulou, Assistant Professor, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Jeanette Edwards, Professor Manchester University UK, Eugenia Georges, Professor Rice University USA, Heather Paxson, Associate Professor Massachusets Institute of Technology USA, Despina Naziri, Assistant Professor Université de Liége, Aigli Chatzouli, Postgrad Student, Theodoros Trokanas, Postgrad Student, Aspa Chalkidou, Grad Student, Pigi Karavia, MA Student, Villy Chatzigianni, MA Student, Stella Arapoglou, External Collaborator, Dicran Albert Matosian, External Collaborator, 1 Postgrad Student, 1 Grad Student

The project aims to offer a detailed, multi-sided ethnographic account of assisted reproduction concepts, practices, politics and technologies in Greece, relate them to legal issues and human rights on (in)fertility and reproduction, and provide a comparative perspective that will associate the Greek project with similar research conducted in selected European and non-European countries –Spain, Italy, Bulgaria, Turkey, Cyprus, Lebanon. Using an array of methodologies -quantitative, qualitative, participant observation, actor-network, legal archival documentation- this interdisciplinary (anthropological and legal) project will be evolved around four clusters of research: a) shifting concepts of kinship, relation, parenthood and personhood in the context of social and technological transformations and nature/culture/technology perceptions, b) practices of reproduction in relation to gender, sexuality, age, religion and ethnicity, c) politics of (in)fertility, “reproductive citizenship” and cross-border reproduction across different states, d) reproductive technologies and networks on local and global level.