Anna LundProfessor of Sociology, Deputy Head of Department
Anna Lund is a Professor of Sociology at Stockholm University. She is also a faculty fellow at Center for Cultural Sociology, Yale University.
Cultural sociology, ethnography/qualitative interviews, arts, gender, sociology of education, multicultural incorporation, youth studies
Anna Lund is teaching Micro Sociology at the Undergraduate level, as well as lecturing on topics such as migration, gender, modern and classical sociological theory and qualitative methods on an advanced level. She is also supervising PhD students at the Department of Sociology and the Department of Child and Youth Studies, Stockholm University.
Cultural sociological perspectives and ethnographic methods characterize her research, as well as a theoretical concern with social change and cultural transformation under conditions of adversity. Her current research interest is connected to how modes of incorporation is performed in school settings among and for migrant students as well as in Swedish children’s theater. She employs civil sphere theory, with intersectional perspectives, at the microlevel by investigating interactional and organizational processes in school and theater contexts.
Cultural sociology, ethnography, arts, gender, sociology of education, multicultural incorporation, youth studies
Nordic Network for New Social Pragmatism, NOS-HS, Academy of Finland. PI: Eeva Luhtakallio (2021-2022).
Research projects, a selection
Influx of Ukrainian, Russian and Belarusian Migrants. Integration and Governance dynamics in Nordic and Baltic States. Project leader HVL and CMI.
Municipality Strategies for Integrated Schools: Imposed desegregation of schools for transformative social change (Att ta skolan i egna händer – styrd skolintegration och social förändring), Swedish Research Council. PI: Stefan Lund. (2021-2025).
Staging Migration: Rhetoric, Representation, and Reception in Swedish Children’s Theater (Att gestalta migration. Retorik, representation och reception i svensk barnteater), Swedish Research Council. PI: Anna Lund. 2020-2023.
Teaching that Matters for Migrant Students: Understanding Levers of Integration in Scotland, Finland and Sweden. NordForsk. PI: Natasa Pantic, 2020-2023.
Opportunity structures for inclusion and successful schooling of newly arrived youth (Nyanlända elevers möjlighetersstrukturer för inkludering och skolframgång), Swedish Research Council. PI: Nihad Bunar, 2017-2020.
Cultural entrepreneurship in music festivals (Efter Hultsfred. Kulturella entreprenörer i spåren efter festivalen), Kamprad Family Foundation. PI: Mats Trondman, 2015-2017.
On the Path Toward a New Everyday Life: A Social Inequality Perspective on Individuals’ Meaning Making at the Onset of Retirement. (På väg mot en annan vardag. Individers meningsskapande vid pensionens inträde ur ett socialt ojämlikhetsperspektiv), Kamprad Family Foundation. PI: Anna Lund, 2014-01-01– 2016-06-30.
Creative school (Skapande skola), The Swedish Agency for Cultural Policy Analysis. PI: Anna Lund, 2011-12-13 – 2013-09-30.
An educational Dilemma. School achivement and Multicultural Incorporation (Ett utbildningspolitiskt dilemma: skolprestationer och mångkulturell inkorporering), The Swedish Research Council. PI: Mats Trondman, 2010-2014.
Organized Producers of Young Net Cultures (Organiserade producenter av unga nätkulturer), The Swedish Knowledge Foundation. PI: Tobias Olsson, 2009-2013.
A selection from Stockholm University publication database
‘I feel sorry for them and I should do something, but I don't’
2019. Anna Lund. Emotion, Space and Society 30, 27-33Article
This article engages with how emotions play a significant role in keeping, and changing, social structures and cultural beliefs when a heteronormative gender order is problematized. The stage is university level programs in performer training and their work to integrate theoretical knowledge on gender into students' creative and pedagogical practice. The results show that changes in space, new spatial imaginaries, bring about a power disturbance and status relations that require a re-monitoring of who we are in the eyes of others. The article illustrates how fear can reveal where individuals’ and groups interests lie and orient them toward what must be done to preserve or develop these interests in a desirable direction. The reason feelings of fear, anger and shame emerge in reaction to changing power and status relations is that a decline in status and power entails a loss of agency as well as emotional and economic security, and in a deeper sense existential meaning and identity.
Preparedness as a counter-memory. School desegregation, social chances and life chances
2019. Anna Lund. Ethnic and Racial Studies 42 (13), 2318-2325Article
How should we understand the conundrum of love for the segregated school – a system built to keep you in your place? In Gone Home. Race and Roots through Appalachia, Karida L. Brown looks at African American teacher’s work in segregated schools and shows how desegregation could be felt in both gains and losses in the black community. Those teachers prepared their students for a world of integration without freedom. This essay proposes a counter- memory of segregation, a relational agency of teachers past that remains to this day. Former students’ commemoration of teachers, principals, and schools dating from the time of institutionalized racial exclusion works as a symbolic reminder in a still-racist world, representing not only the need to be prepared, but also to stay prepared.
The Nordic Civil Sphere
2019. Jeffrey C. Alexander, Anna Lund, Andrea Voyer.Book (ed)
The civil sphere is a distinctively democratic field in modern societies, one that sustains universalizing cultural aspirations and organizational structures and that has tense and uncertain boundaries with other spheres of social life, like the economy, religion, family, and state. Unlike the latter, which are more particularistic and hierarchical in character, the civil sphere defines itself in terms of solidarity – the feeling of being connected with every other person in the collectivity. The utopian ideals of democratic solidarity shape every modern society, even if they are often compromised by the messy realities of social life.
This volume uses the theory of the civil sphere to shed new light on Nordic societies, while at the same time drawing on the distinctive experiences of the Nordic nations to reflect on and advance the theory of the civil sphere. Nordic societies have long been admired for creating a distinctive form of social democracy, but this admirable achievement has not been well conceptualized theoretically. Most attempts to explain Nordic social democracy focus on material and organizational factors. This volume, by contrast, emphasizes the cultural foundations and characteristics of social democracy, demonstrating how civil sensibilities are necessary for the creation of an egalitarian and democratic state. Nordic civil spheres, however, are not only pro-civil but also white in color, European in ethnicity, secular in character and gender-equal in a subtly restrictive manner. Such primordialization of state civility is vividly on display in the sometime tense relationships that develop among natives and “foreigners” in Nordic countries, relationships that expose the primordial undersides of the social democratic codes and civil values that constitute the Nordic civil sphere.
A major contribution to the theory of the civil sphere and to our understanding of the cultural and normative underpinnings of social and political life, this volume will be of particular interest to students and scholars of sociology and politics.
Hope and a horizon of solidarity
2020. Jeffrey C. Alexander, Anna Lund, Andrea Voyer. Sociologisk forskning 57 (2), 189-205Article
In this interview, Jeffrey C. Alexander describes the development of cultural sociology, the importance of collaborative work, and the inspiration he takes from his political action, and from the art and humanities. The interview focuses primarily on civil sphere theory (CST), and Alexander’s goal in moving towards Durkheimian and away from Parsonian conceptions of solidarity. Alexander addresses common misunderstandings and critiques of CST, describes the current project of the internationalization of CST, and applies the theory to the present crisis of a global pandemic and the social movement of Black Lives Matter. Finally, Alexander reflects upon life in the academic world and the importance of not only analyzing meaning as a cultural sociologist but also working with meaningful projects in order to not be alienated. Alexander was invited keynote speaker at the Sociologidagarna in March in Stockholm 2020, but due to the Corona pandemic the conference was cancelled. This interview took place through Zoom in three different locations (Stockholm, New Haven, and Coventry, Connecticut) on 22 June 2020.
Importing American racial reasoning to social science research in Sweden
2020. Andrea Voyer, Anna Lund. Sociologisk forskning 57 (3-4), 337-362Article
How does one research racial categorizations and exclusions while remaining sensitive to context? How does one engage the social reality of racial categorizations and the history of racialized exclusions without falling into the trap of race essentialism? These concerns prompt debate about, and also resistance to, examining race in Swedish social science. In this article, Voyer and Lund offer American racial reasoning as one possible approach to researching race in the Swedish context. American racial reasoning means being attentive to how power and the processes of social inequality operate through categories of racial and ethnic difference, and also seeing the path to greater equality in the embrace of those categories. American racial reasoning is a valuable research tool that uncovers dynamics of social inequality and possibilities for social justice that are otherwise difficult to grasp. Taking up the topic of immigration in Sweden, Voyer and Lund demonstrate the analytical value of American racial reasoning for understanding persistent social inequality and exclusion even when explicit racial categories are not in wide use in everyday life.
‘You were imported with kebabs’
2020. Anna Lund, Lina Lundström. European Journal of Cultural StudiesArticle
Through an ethnographic account of the ways that teenagers in a Stockholm school construct meaning through hard-hitting humor, that is, ‘pisstaking’, we investigate how collective representations play out in everyday life. This culture in interaction is analyzed as a form of ‘social art’ where participants sensuously negotiate visible and invisible power structures. The article depicts the interactions as embedded in a symbolic landscape of meaning, one where complex inequalities contained within bodies and played out in interaction can resist and (re)produce gendered and racialized orders and identities. Masculinities, femininities, sexualities, notions of the ‘right’ kind of modernity and being ‘the immigrant’ are put to use as cultural resources in an intersectional play around gaining and maintaining social value and self-worth. We show how ‘pisstaking’ works among teenagers: promoting situational solidarity while also allowing for differentiation and othering processes.