Johanna Palm. Foto: Stockholms universitet

Johanna Palm


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Works at Department of Sociology
Visiting address Universitetsvägen 10 B, plan 9
Room B 986
Postal address Sociologiska institutionen 106 91 Stockholm

About me

I am newly appointed PhD at the Department of Sociology at Stockholm University.

My research interests are collective mobilization and collective action, in particluar in the form of trade union organization and militant attitudes in the Swedish context. My specific interests are if, how and when different aspects of social class and ideology function as determinants for union orgainzation and degrees of militant attitudes. 


A selection from Stockholm University publication database
  • 2017. Johanna Palm, Magnus Bygren, Tomas Berglund.

    This thesis investigates what factors affect union organization and, to some degree, union activity in the face of declining union density in the majority of Western countries. Union structures have been changing in recent decades, not only in terms of declining membership but also because women and white-collar workers are becoming a more stable part of the membership base, whereas previously highly organized groups, such as blue-collar workers, are in decline. The point of departure for this thesis is that union density changes must be understood on several different levels. Thus, we must investigate changing union density in light of changing institutional settings, changing labour market structures and changing norms and values on the individual level. The thesis consists of three empirical studies investigating union density changes and union activity in Sweden, and an introductory chapter that develops the theoretical and empirical (historical) background. The empirical studies investigate: (1) whether and how the influence of various aspects of class and ideology on union organization have changed over time, (2) the effect of structural change on union density increase and decline, and(3) what factors influence different attitudes towards industrial action among Swedish employees. Results show that union density decline in Sweden since the mid-1990s cannot be explained by any forceful shifts in the labour market structure or individuals’ opinions and/or attitudes related to trade unions to any significant degree. Union density decline in Sweden is of a general nature. However, an increasing divergence in union density across various categories of employees, including, e.g., private-sector vs. public-sector employees, young vs. older employees, employees of foreign origin vs. employees of Swedish origin, and the atypically employed vs. employees with standardized employment, is observed. Moreover, previously strong predictors of union membership, including class identity, ideology, sector of employment and type of employment contract, are in decline, but they still influence union organization and attitudes towards industrial action.

  • 2017. Johanna Palm. Economic and Industrial Democracy

    Using individual-level time-series data covering the period from 1990 to 2011, this article provides an empirical analysis of how the influence of various aspects of class and ideology on union organization have changed over time in the Swedish context. The primary results indicate that although union density and the influence of class-related aspects and ideology are decreasing, particularly among groups with traditionally high levels of organization, the general trend is not valid for all categories of employees. Rather, it appears that where the tradition of being organized is weaker, the influence of class and class identity is particularly strong. No evidence is identified that supports the thesis of class loyalty vanishing among the young.

  • Johanna Palm.

    Using a mixed-methods approach, including data from a national sample of 1851 employees and 10 in-depth interviews with various categories of employees, this paper examines what factors influence different attitudes towards industrial action among Swedish employees. It adds to previous research by showing that social class has a strong influence on attitudes, both in terms of its effects on wages and working conditions and in terms of how class identification and class background affects perceptions of (in)justice, which help explain the preference for different strategies in relation to job dissatisfaction.

Show all publications by Johanna Palm at Stockholm University

Last updated: November 24, 2020

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