The Research Center for Ethnology and Comparative Sociology or LESC is a cross-faculty research entity of the Paris West University Nanterre La Defense and the National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS). The French School of Anthropology is the center founded in 1967 at Paris X University by Eric de Dampierre. It is been associated with the National Scientific Research Council (CNRS) from 1968. It became a Mixed Research Unit (UMR) in 1989.
Today it is the UMR 7186. The spectrum of research activities covered by the LESC (Laboratory of Ethnology and Comparative Sociology) is quite vast and reaching from traditional fieldwork based ethnography to visual anthropology. These activities are conducted within the scientific departments Technology, Americanism and Ethnomusicology. The Societe d'ethnologie, created in 1986 by Eric de Dampierre and Societe des b, created in 1930 are two learned societies housed in the LESC. The Anthropology Library named after Eric de Dampierre has one of the largest collection of anthropological reviews and files on Africanist, Americanist and Mongol studies in France.
The research areas are Comparative forms and dynamics of kinship and politics, language, music and cognition, fate of the body, metatheories of the psyche, ethnokinesis and dynamics of ritual and religious practices, memory policies, displacements and identities, objects in action: material cultures, technical processes and mediations and the operational Chain of Anthropology.
The sub-sections of Specialized Centers and Research Groups are Mayan Education and Research Group (GERM), Teaching and Research in Native American Ethnology – (EREA) and Center for Research in Ethnomusicology (CREM). The research priorities in 2014-2018 is structured around 6 research axes which includes epistemology and exercises of anthropology, social areas, sensitive spaces, temporalities, memory, history, etc.