Fanny Ambjörnsson. Foto: Eva Dalin.

Fanny Ambjörnsson


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Works at Department of Ethnology, History of Religions and Gender Studies
Telephone 08-674 73 02
Visiting address Universitetsvägen 10 E7
Room E 711
Postal address 106 91 Stockholm 106 91 Stockholm

About me

I have been working as a researcher and teacher at the Section for Gender Studies since 2001. As of 2012 I also work as director of studies for first- and second-cycle education.


Research interests: constructions of gender and sexuality among adolescent girls, LGBT youth, intersectionality and queer theory, resistance studies and cultural studies.

I completed my PhD at the Department of Social Anthropology at Stockholm University in 2004. My thesis, “I en klass för sig. Genus, klass och sexualitet bland gymnasietjejer” [In a class of their own: Gender, class and sexuality among high school girls] (Ordfront 2004), was about gender formation among two groups of girls in their late teens.

Since then, my research interests have centred on gender constructions, particularly in relation to youth and femininity, but I have also focused on how gender is created in relation to other power structures in society, such as sexuality, class and age. For example, based on queer and post-structuralist theory, I have studied how notions of the normal girl must be understood in relation to constructions of class and sexuality. My interest in queer theory has also resulted in an introductory book on queer theory and activism, “Vad är queer?” [What is queer?] (Natur & Kultur 2006).

While the thesis dealt with normalisation processes among high school girls, another focus has been to investigate how gender is created at a younger age. The project “Genusskapande och normaliseringsprocesser” [Gender formation and normalisation processes] (funded by Fas/Forte) focused mainly on how parents of young children discuss and act around their children with regard to gender. The project resulted in the book “Rosa – den farliga färgen” [Pink – the dangerous colour] (Ordfront 2011), in which I discuss contemporary conceptions of femininity, class, sexuality and age, based on attitudes of preschool children, queer youth and parents of young children towards the loaded colour pink.

The relationship between age, aging and normative life scripts on the one hand – and sexuality, family formation and gender on the other – has been the focus of another project of mine, where I studied how young LGBTQ people (20-30 years old) challenge, renegotiate and relate to the majority society. The project is part of a larger study called “Queerkids, baby-butchar och lesbianer. Livsvillkor och motståndsstratregier bland två generationer hbt-kvinnor” [Queer kids, baby butches and lesbians: Living conditions and resistance strategies among two generations of LBT women] (funded by Fas/Forte), which is conducted in collaboration with gender studies scholar Janne Bromseth.  The intention has been to compare young queer activists with older lesbian women and transgender people in order to see how constructions of gender and sexuality change with time, age and generation. The study has resulted in, for example, the anthology ”Livslinjer. Berättelser om ålder, genus och sexualitet” [Lifelines: Stories about age, gender and sexuality] (Makadam 2010).

Currently, I am conducting a study called “Städa, städa, varje fredag? Städning som symbol och praktik i det samtida Sverige” [Clean, clean every Friday? Cleaning as symbol and practice in contemporary Sweden]. Based on observations of and interviews with people about their everyday experiences of cleaning, and inspired both by feminist research on care work and classical anthropological theories of purity and impurity, I am interested in questions regarding the essence of cleaning: what kind of chore is cleaning, what does it mean to people’s lives, how is it organised in practice, and what is perceived as a clean or dirty home, respectively? Ultimately, I want to explore why cleaning – the caring of material objects – is so poorly valued and what this tells us about how society is organised.


A selection from Stockholm University publication database
  • Chapter Queerteori
    2016. Fanny Ambjörnsson. Samhällskroppen - om samhällle, kön och sexualitet, 124-131
  • Book Rosa
    2011. Fanny Ambjörnsson.
  • 2006. Fanny Ambjörnsson.
Show all publications by Fanny Ambjörnsson at Stockholm University

Last updated: August 24, 2018

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