The European Social Research Unit (ESRU) is integrated in the Department of Social Anthropology of the University of Barcelona, and works closely with the Research Group on Gender, Identity and Diversity (GENI). Dedicated to developing applied and academic anthropological research in the fields of identity, discrimination, othering and social control, the ESRU provides a strategic, integrated approach to understanding sex-gendered constructs, racism and racialized identities, and migration processes. Currently, at the ESRU, we are conducting research on the specific areas of online hate speech, LGBT-phobia, asylum processes, and victims’ support systems. The research undertaken by the ESRU stems from the ethnographic tradition of anthropology, adopting the intersectional approach whilst reconciling the in-depth conceptual debate with a pragmatic analytical framework, allowing for our findings to go beyond analysis to produce applied outcomes.

Alongside ESRU Director, Dr. Olga Jubany, the unit’s staff members are anthropologists and social scientists working on qualitative data collection and analysis, with each investigation conducted by a team of experts in the field, reinforced by the contributions of regular collaborators. The ESRU has an international reputation for research work and a large number of post graduate and research students, integrated in the GENI research group. The Unit also relies on a sound network of institutional partners, and counts on the excellent management and dissemination mechanisms of the University of Barcelona, the only Spanish university ranked in the top 200 by the 2017 Academia Ranking of World Universities.

What we do


  • Inequalities: gender, origin, age
  • Identity and diversity
  • Discrimination
  • Othering


  • Equality: labour market, housing, education
  • Intersectionality: gender, origin, age, etc
  • LGBT
  • Contemporary conceptualisations on gender debates

Migration Studies

  • Migration and the labour market
  • Asylum
  • Gender and migration
  • Admission and integration policies