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  • Redmalm, David, 1981- (författare)
  • An animal without an animal within : investigating the identities of pet keeping
  • 2013
  • Doktorsavhandling (övrigt vetenskapligt)abstract
    • If the human is an animal without an animal within—a creature that has transcended the animal condition—what is a pet? This creature balancing on the border between nature and culture, simultaneously included in and excluded from a human “we”, is the focus of this thesis. The thesis analyzes the discourses and normative frameworks structuring the meaning of pets in people’s lives. By extension, it analyzes how the boundary between “human” and “animal” is produced, negotiated, and challenged in the relationship between pet and owner.Each of this thesis’ four constituent studies focuses on an aspect of personal relationships between humans and pets: pets as figures for philosophical thinking, the dual role of pets as commodities and companions, the grief for lost pets, and the power issues at play in the everyday life of pet and owner. Drawing on Michel Foucault’s genealogical approach, crossbred with Donna Haraway’s material-semiotic perspective, the analysis exposes the powers allowing pets to occupy these various positions.The thesis demonstrates that pets occupy a special position as boundary creatures in the lives of humans, allowing humans to play with and thus reproduce dichotomies inherent to the contemporary Western worldview, such as human/animal, person/nonperson, subject/object, and friend/commodity. However, pets’ conceptual transgressions may also challenge this worldview. On the one hand, pets are bought and sold as commodities, but on the other, they are widely included in the human sphere as friends or family members. This paradoxical position is accentuated in the construction of a more-than-human home, and it is also visible when pets pass away. This thesis argues that pets, these anomalous creatures, may help humans understand that there are no humans or animals within, only relations between them. Based on this argument, this thesis develops a sociological approach for analyzing the production of humanity and animality in relations between humans and other animals.
  • Eliassi, Barzoo, 1978- (författare)
  • A stranger in my homeland The politics of belonging among young people with Kurdish backgrounds in Sweden
  • 2010
  • Doktorsavhandling (övrigt vetenskapligt)abstract
    • This dissertation examines how young people with Kurdish backgrounds form their identity in Sweden with regards to processes of inclusion and exclusion. It also sheds light on the ways these young people deal with ethnic discrimination and racism. Further, the study outlines the importance of these social processes for the discipline of social work and the ways social workers can work with disadvantaged and marginalized groups and endorse their struggle for social justice and full equal citizenship beyond racist and discriminatory practices. The empirical analysis is built on interviews with 28 young men and women with Kurdish backgrounds in Sweden. Postcolonial theory, belonging and identity formation constitute the central conceptual framework of this study.The young people referred to different sites in which they experienced ethnic discrimination and stigmatization. These experiences involved the labor market, mass media, housing segregation, legal system and school system. The interviewees also referred to the roles of ‘ordinary’ Swedes in obstructing their participation in the Swedish society through exclusionary discourses relating to Swedish identity. The interviewees’ life situation in Sweden, sense of ethnic discrimination as well as disputes over identity making with other young people with Middle-Eastern background are among the most important reasons for fostering strong Kurdish nationalist sentiments, issues that are related to the ways they can exercise their citizenship rights in Sweden and how they deal with exclusionary practices in their everyday life. The study shows that the interviewees respond to and resist ethnic discrimination in a variety of ways including interpersonal debates and discussions, changing their names to Swedish names, strengthening differences between the self and the other, violence, silence and deliberately ignoring racism. They also challenged and spoke out against the gendered racism that they were subjected to in their daily lives due to the paternalist discourse of ”honor-killing”.The research participants had been denied an equal place within the boundary of Swedishness partly due to a racist postcolonial discourse that valued whiteness highly. Paradoxically, some interviewees reproduced the same discourse through choosing to use it against black people, Africans, newly-arrived Kurdish immigrants (”imports”), ”Gypsies” and Islam in order to claim a modern Kurdish identity as near to whiteness as possible. This indicates the multiple dimensions of racism. Those who are subjected to racism and ethnic discrimination can be discriminatory and reproduce the racist discourse. Despite unequal power relations, both dominant and minoritized subjects are all marked by the postcolonial condition in structuring subjectivities, belonging and identification.
  • Iversen, Clara, 1981- (författare)
  • Making Questions and Answers Work Negotiating Participation in Interview Interaction
  • 2013
  • Doktorsavhandling (övrigt vetenskapligt)abstract
    • The current thesis explores conditions for participation in interview interaction. Drawing on the ethnomethodological idea that knowledge is central to participation in social situations, it examines how interview participants navigate knowledge and competence claims and the institutional and moral implications of these claims. The data consists of, in total, 97 audio-recorded interviews conducted as part of a national Swedish evaluation of support interventions for children exposed to violence. In three studies, I use discursive psychology and conversation analysis to explicate how interview participants in interaction (1) contribute to and negotiate institutional constraints and (2) manage rights and responsibilities related to knowledge.The findings of study I and study II show that child interviewees actively cooperate with as well as resist the constraints of interview questions. However, the children’s opportunities for participation in this institutional context are limited by two factors: (1) recordability; that is, the focus on generating recordable responses and (2) problematic assumptions underpinning questions and the interpretation of interview answers. Apart from restricting children’s rights to formulate their experiences, these factors can lead interviewers to miss opportunities to gain important information. Also related to institutional constraints, study III shows how the ideal of model consistency is prioritized over service-user participation. Thus, the three studies show how different practices relevant to institutional agendas may hinder participation.Moreover, the findings contribute to an understanding of how issues of knowledge are managed in the interviews. Study II suggests the importance of the concept of believability to refer to people’s rights and responsibilities to draw conclusions about others’ thoughts. And the findings of study III demonstrate how, in evaluation interviews with social workers, children’s access to their own thoughts and feelings are based on a notion of predetermined participation; that is, constructed as contingent on wanting what the institutional setting offers. Thus, child service users’ low epistemic status, compared to the social workers, trumps their epistemic access to their own minds. These conclusions, about recordability, believability, and predetermined participation, are based on interaction with or about children. However, I argue that the findings relate to interviewees and service users in general. By demonstrating the structuring power of interactive practices, the thesis extends our understanding of conditions for participation in the institutional setting of social research interviews. 
  • Hedin, Lena, 1951- (författare)
  • Foster youth's sense of belonging in kinship, network, and traditional foster families an interactive perspective on foster youth's everyday life
  • 2012
  • Doktorsavhandling (övrigt vetenskapligt)abstract
    • This thesis shows that foster youth can be active participants and agents in shaping their own lives, both in terms of developing and breaking relationships. The aim of the thesis is to examine the everyday lives of young people after entering various types of foster families, and to identify processes in various contexts that influence their sense of belonging. Three of the studies are based on in-depth interviews with 17 foster youth, and a fourth study also includes follow-up interviews with 15 of them. The study’s perspective views the family as socially constructed by means of interactive rituals in which both adults and young people are social actors. Study I demonstrates foster children’s motivation and aptitude for academic improvement, even despite previous severe problems in school. The study indicates that their satisfaction with school is related to both the quality of care they receive and their relations with peers. Study II illuminates the importance of both structure and warmth in foster youth’s everyday life. Routines normalize their daily life. Emotional warmth is created through doing things together. In particular, joking and laughing stand out as important inclusion practices. In study III the young people in kinship and network foster families are found to display the strongest social bonds to their foster families, and the young people in traditional foster families the weakest. Including network foster families in the study sheds light on the importance of adolescents’ active involvement in choosing their foster families. Study IV strengthens findings in the previous three studies about the importance of mutual activities and laughing together for the creation of social bonds in the foster family. Over time, adolescents in traditional foster families also have strengthened their social bonds to the foster family. Therapeutic support is found to be more common in the follow-up interview than one year before, and this unmasks the vulnerability of foster youth, and girls in particular. However, foster youth exhibit personal agency by still coping fairly well with their situation. Overall, this thesis shows that the sense of belonging in the family is strengthened if youth negotiate and take part in decisions concerning them and if the family is an ‘open foster family’ in its reception of the youth and their biological parents, but also that humour can serve as a door-opener into the foster family.
  • Lassinantti, Kitty, 1968- (författare)
  • Diagnosens dilemman Identitet, anpassning och motstånd hos kvinnor med ADHD
  • 2014
  • Doktorsavhandling (övrigt vetenskapligt)abstract
    • This thesis explores the increasing medicalization of society, the process whereby social phenomenon are transformed into medical problems. Alike the general tendency of neu- ropsychiatric diagnoses, the number of people with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactiv- ity Disorder) has increased and expanded from a boys’ diagnosis to include both adult men and women. Studies on the latter category is however scarce. The objective of the thesis is to contribute with a micro sociological and critical perspective on the effects of the biomedicalization process, by focusing women's experience of getting and living with ADHD. The empirical material consists of narrative interviews with sixteen women, diagnosed with ADHD in adulthood. The participants, age 20 to 50, were enrolled via Swedish NGO:s in 2010 and 2013.The thesis resides on four analytical themes: biomedicalization, pharmaceuticalizaton, functionality and gender. It shows how diagnostics evokes processes that involve learning and using a biomedical terminology to describe and understand oneself. ADHD is, in general, depicted as diffuse, expansionary, masculine and deviant sociability and cognitiv- ity. Unlike depression and anxiety, described as temporary and unwanted illnesses, the ADHD-diagnosis embraces the whole personality. Hence, the women find it difficult to identifying and separating ADHD from the self. Furthermore, categorizations of oneself as a ‘woman with ADHD’ imply constructions of individual and collective identity that has ideological implications, i.e. the individual narratives are related to grand narratives. These contradictory grand narratives bring about ideological dilemmas that are handled rhetorically in the women's everyday life. The masculine connotation of ADHD, for ex- ample, render the women experiencing themselves as transgressing not only femininity but also ADHD-personhood. Additionally, as social actions are attributed to the ‘ADHD brain’, the brain is portrayed as a pathological deviant and dysfunctional object for phar- maceutical intervention. Nevertheless, this discourse is also contested by the women by pointing to 1) positive aspects of the ‘ADHD-brain’ in everyday life, or 2) gender inequal- ities and demands of the late-modern society. Concluding, the women in this study are not only victims of their bodies or societal norms, but also agents negotiating– adapting and opposing to – expectations of how to be an ideal citizen or woman.
  • Paulsen, Roland, 1981- (författare)
  • Empty Labor : Subjectivity and Idleness at Work
  • 2013
  • Doktorsavhandling (övrigt vetenskapligt)abstract
    • This thesis is about how and why employees spend large proportions of their working hours on empty labor, i.e. private activities on the job. It is written against the backdrop of a highly debated subject within critical theory, namely the possibility of individuals resisting taken-for-granted power asymmetries. Critical theorists' stress on ideological power and the internalization of submission calls the idea of a free subject into question. Since labor often appears as the hub of instrumental reason in which all acts of resistance are suppressed, this stress becomes particularly obvious when worker subjectivity is discussed. Yet international statistics suggest that the average time of empty labor per employee is between 1,5 to 3 hours a day. With the overarching goal to understand if these statistics emanate from undercover employee resistance in the form of time appropriation, I interviewed 43 employees who spent around half of their working hours on empty labor. Four types of empty labor could be discerned depending on the employee's sense of work obligation and how much work the job actually entailed: soldiering is the active withdrawal of the employee despite high potential output; slacking is a combination of little to do and weak sense of work obligation in the employee; coping is when the employee wants to perform and there is much to do, but when empty labor is used as stress relief; enduring is when the employee is motivated to work, but work tasks are lacking. Although simulating work is essential to all types of empty labor, only soldiering represents resistance in the sense that subjective motives challenge the organization of labor. Among those with a weak sense of work obligation, the motives for time appropriation varied from personal to more political reasons. However, if empty labor can be incorporated into the organization of work, and the maximal efficiency that sometimes is ascribed to the capitalist production system is unwarranted, one might ask whether any type of empty labor signifies resistance. I conclude by pointing out how the phenomenon of empty labor challenges the very concept of work and its relation to production.
  • Bergman Blix, Stina, 1971- (författare)
  • Rehearsing Emotions The Process of Creating a Role for the Stage
  • 2010
  • Doktorsavhandling (övrigt vetenskapligt)abstract
    • This thesis takes as its starting point the dramaturgical metaphor of the world as a stage, which is used in sociological role theories. These theories often presume what stage acting is about in order to use it as a simile for every day acting. My intention is to investigate how stage actors actually work with their roles, in particular how they work with emotions, and how it affects their private emotions.The thesis draws on participant observation and interviews with actors during the rehearsal phase of two productions at a large theatre in Sweden. The results show that the inhabiting of a role for the stage is more difficult and painstaking than has been assumed in role theories so far. Shame and insecurity are common, particularly in the start up phase of the rehearsals. Interestingly, these emotions do not disappear with growing experience, but instead become recognized and accepted as part of the work process.The primary focus is the interplay between the actors' experience and expression of emotions, often described in terms of surface and deep acting, concepts which are elaborated and put into a process perspective. Analysis of the rehearsal process revealed that actors gradually decouple the privately derived emotional experiences that they use to find their way into their characters from the emotions that they express on the stage. Thus private experiences are converted to professional emotional experiences and expressions, triggered by situational cues. When the experience has been expressed the physical manifestation can be repeated with a weaker base in a simultaneous experience, since the body remembers the expression. It is important though, that the emotional expression is not completely decoupled from a concomitant experience; then the expression looses its vitality. The ability to professionalize emotions makes the transitions in and out of emotions less strenuous but can infiltrate and cause problems in the actors' intimate relations.
  • Bergman, Jonny (författare)
  • Seeking empowerment asylum-seeking refugees from Afghanistan in Sweden
  • 2010
  • Doktorsavhandling (övrigt vetenskapligt)abstract
    • The purpose of this study is to contribute to the understanding of how asylum-seeking refugees manage their lives in the situation they are in, a situation in which they are dependent and have to wait for decisions on whether or not they will get to stay in the country in which they have made their application for asylum.  The elaboration upon these questions and the purpose of the study is approached through a field study of asylum-seeking refugees from Afghanistan in Sweden. The thesis presents a background of international migration, refugee migration, refugee migration from Afghanistan and the reception of asylum seekers and refugees in the EU and Sweden, which tells us both that asylum seekers and refugees are not welcome in the countries of the ‘North’, where policies of containment and repatriation are the most common features of treating the refugee ‘problem’ and that the long period of waiting and uncertainty creates a situation of passivity and ill-health among the asylum seekers. Employing grounded theory methodology in different forms based in data from fieldwork, including participant observations and informal conversations, the study applies a constructionist grounded theory approach in the analyses of the situation and the management thereof. Steered by this constructionist grounded theory approach, strengthened by a situational analysis, the thesis presents a situational frame pointing to the situation for the asylum-seeking refugees as temporal and dependent on Swedish national discourse, racism and paternalism. With this background and frame and generated by data from the field study, the thesis goes on to present the situation as disempowering. The disempowering processes are illustrated through looking at dependence and inhospitality, and are characterised by the asylum-seeking refugees’ oscillation between feelings of hope and despair. It becomes, however, also evident that the asylum-seeking refugees take action and that they are supported by latent empowering processes. The actions taken are categorised as actions of empowering in opposition to the processes presented as disempowering. The actions of empowering are connected to keeping oneself occupied, searching for and maintaining social contacts and in the asylum-seeking refugees’ representations of themselves. From the presentation of the situation as disempowering and the actions taken by the asylum-seeking refugees in response to this situation as actions of empowering, a process characterised as seeking empowerment is presented. In this process empowerment is discussed as the establishment of power to resist. During the discussion of the concept of seeking empowerment it is shown how the asylum-seeking refugees in this study, through their actions of empowering, try to resist the disempowering situation. By seeking to establish power to resist, they are seeking empowerment.
  • Blomberg, Helena (författare)
  • Mobbning, intriger, offerskap att tala om sig själv som mobbad i arbetslivet
  • 2010
  • Doktorsavhandling (övrigt vetenskapligt)abstract
    • This thesis is a study of bullying narratives, mainly co-produced in a process of ongoing interaction. The focus is on how narrators rhetorically organize their storytelling and identity work by using discursive resources. The empirical material consists of 12 interviews with, and 12 written stories by people who have been exposed to workplace bullying plus information from three websites about bullying, and previous research. The overarching aim of the study is to identify how a bullying discourse is produced, reproduced, challenged and negotiated in bullied persons’ narratives. Specific aims are to determine how bullying is portrayed publicly, how narrators with experience of being bullied build their stories, how the narratives stand in relation to victimization, what makes it possible to talk about vulnerability and what are its limits, and finally to develop a narrative approach.Theoretically and methodologically, the study has its basis in narrative analysis, discursive psychology, conversation analysis, and metaphor analysis. The study shows how the narrators categorize themselves as active, competent, and consensus seeking. They resist being victimized, but by their use of the interpretative repertoire and a standard story of bullying, they nevertheless become indirectly victimized. What’s at stake, in the narratives, is the question of guilt, which they rhetorically evade by the use of different metaphors. These metaphors depict bullying as a mystery, a lifelong source of suffering, a transformation, a learning experience, a battle, a contagious virus, and a trap. The narrators are constrained by the narrative conditions, the interpretative repertoire, standard story, and narrative form and content – a story of good and evil when creating their own story. The narrative conditions at the same time set the limit for expressing oneself in the identity work. This also means we are part of the production and reproduction of the bullying discourse when I, as a researcher, and the narrators use the repertoire and the standard story in mutual understanding.
  • Dahlkild-Öhman, Gunilla, 1945- (författare)
  • Att börja tala med barn om pappas våld mot mamma Radikalt lärande i arbetet med vårdnad, boende och umgänge
  • 2011
  • Doktorsavhandling (övrigt vetenskapligt)abstract
    • This thesis explores the scope for children’s voices offered to children in court mandated investigations regarding custody, residence or contact. The focus is on children who have been exposed to their father’s violence against their mother The aim is to study how the legislators’ intentions concerning children’s participation in this area are implemented in work groups. The assumption is that implementation can be seen as collective learning. Implementation may in this case challenge established relations of power like age and gender orders. Professional discourses on violence have to shift from gender neutral to gendered discourses and discourses on children have to include a participation discourse. Learning which includes a shift in discourses and challenges established power relations is defined as radical learning.The approach is social constructionist and draws on group interviews with social workers specialized in family law.The thesis analyses which discourses of violence and of children are accessible and used at group level. This can be seen as a discursive opportunity structure. The discourses in question are: gender violence, child protection, treatment and family law discourses as well as care and participation discourses. The conclusion is that all these discourses are accessible to the professionals and the effects of the different discourses are discussed regarding the possibilities for creating a safe situation for mother and child during the investigation.The thesis furthermore analyses the organisation of the work groups. These characteristics can be seen as an organisational opportunity structure. The analysis shows different patterns in the groups when it comes to structure and stage of learning process. One group seems to be at the stage where the members are prepared to start talking to the child about the father’s violence.The final chapter presents a discussion of radical learning and the possibilities for radical social change when established power relations are challenged.
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