Photography of Gunnel Forsberg

Gunnel Forsberg


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Works at Department of Human Geography
Telephone 08-674 78 43
Visiting address Svante Arrhenius väg 8
Room Professor emerita
Postal address Kulturgeografiska institutionen 106 91 Stockholm

About me

Professor in Human Geography with a special in urban and regional planning, Stockholm University,
Deputy Dean of Faculty of Social Science, Stockholm University,
Born 1950

I am a professor in Human Geography with a special in Urban and Regional Planning at Stockholm University since 1998. Half of the time I am Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences at Stockholm University. I was educated at Uppsala University with a dissertation on economic geography and labor market policy. For a period of six years I was appointed guest professor in Gender Studies at Karlstad University. Urban and Regional Development and Gender analysis are my main research topics.

One of my research interests lie in the realm of Urban and Regional Planning, especially in regional planning issues and the economic and demographic transformation of the (dynamic) countryside. I am member of the research profile in planning at the Department where we investigate the possibilities and the constraints that are involved in planning for urban and rural environments. Of central importance here are the various forms of spatial and social imbalances and the associated problems, which take the form of uneven resource distribution, inequality and segregation. Our research is applied to rural environments, to the modern city and suburb, and to issues concerning planning for sustainable development. The focus of research here concerns changing gender identities, constructions, and practice from the perspective of the spatial contexts in which they operate.

Another of my interest is gender research. Within geographical research gender is of special importance as it contributes to new understandings of spatial outcomes. Gender is also relevant within planning research as it brings explanations to planning policies and to the consequences of various planning decisions. In my research I have been interested in the question of gender relations and constructions in various regional and local environments. The understanding of femininity and masculinity in metropolitan regions and rural environments can be quite different and in order to grasp these variations, I use the concept of local gender contracts.  This is also a workable way to challenge stereotypes of rural vs. urban man and woman.

A third research topic is the transnational migration flows to rural places in Sweden. What is the experience of the immigrant people and what contribution to the local rural place do they give?”

Career summary

PhD in Human Geography, Uppsala University 1989 (Dissertation title: Industrial change and Gender Structure. Case Studies on four Local Labour Markets).

Associate Professor at the Faculty of Social Science, Uppsala University.1995.

Appointed full Professor at Stockholm University 1998.

Deputy Dean for the Faculty of Social Science of Stockholm University with responsibility for research and post graduate education, 2012 -.

Earlier positions:

Research assistant at the Swedish Centre for Working Life, Stockholm 1985-1990,

Researcher at Dep. of Human Geography, Uppsala University 1990-1991,

Senior lecturer, Dep. of Human Geography, Uppsala, 1991-1998.

Visiting Professor at Centre for Gender studies, Karlstad University, 1999-2005, 50%.

Head of Department, Human Geography, 2007-2011.  

Project leadership (selected)

  • Project leader for “The countryside of Mälar region in Transition”, Uppsala University, 1992-1995. Funded by Riksbankens Jubileumsfond and Formas.
  • Project leader for “Gender and Regional Variations”, Uppsala University, 1994-1997, funded by Forskningsrådsnämnden
  • Programme leader for “Gender Relations on the Move” Karlstad University, 1999-2005, funded by samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Karlstad universitet and Länsstyrelsen i Värmland
  • Project leader for “Changes and Development in the Region of Inner Scandinavia”, Karlstads University, 2002-2006 funded by EU:s INTERREG III.
  • Project leader for “Innovative Entrepreneurs in the Caring Sector. Innovation Systems in a Gender Perspective” 2002-2005 funded by VINNOVA and Sveriges Kommuner och Landsting
  • Project leader for “Homosexuals at work”, Karlstads Universitet, (2004 2008-)  funded by FAS.
  • Project leader for “Innovationssystem och homosociala strukturer”, (Innovation systems and Homo-social structures) in collaboration with prof. Gerd Lindgren, Karlstad University, (2006-2010 ) funded by VINNOVA
  • Project leader for “Gender and Rural Life—Creating Gendered Ruralities”, (2007-2011 ) funded by Vetenskapsrådet
  • Project leader for “When the world goes rural”, (2008-2013) funded by FORMAS.


Last updated: May 24, 2018

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