Kristina Stenström has a PhD in Media and Communication Studies from the Department of Media Studies at Stockholm University.
She is currently active as a qualitative researcher in the project “Life quality among older adults in contemporary Sweden: Financial conflicts, relationship quality and equality” headed by Ann-Zofie Duvander and Linda Kridahl. She is also a lecturer in Media and Communication Studies at the University of Gävle.
During 2018-2020, Kristina studied how existential process relating to involuntary childlessness materializes in online settings in the postdoctoral project “Spaces of loss and becoming: Involuntary childlessness online” at the Department of Computer and Systems Sciences at Stockholm University. She has also researched the relationship between embodiment and media through dimensions of production, spectatorship and participatory culture.
A selection from Stockholm University publication database
Collective, unruly, and becoming
2021. Kristina Stenström, Katarina Winter. MedieKultur 37 (71), 31-53Article
Online contexts offer an important source of information and emotional support for those facing involuntary childlessness. This article reports the results from an ethnographic exploration of TTC (trying-to-conceive) communication on Instagram. Through a new materialist approach that pays attention to the web of intra-acting agencies in online communication, this article explores the question of what material-discursive bodies (constructs of embodiment and medical information) emerge in TTC communication as the result of shared images and narratives of bodies, symptoms, fertility treatments, and reproductive technologies. Drawing on a lengthy ethnographic immersion, observations of 394 Instagram accounts, and the close analysis of 100 posts, the study found that TTC communication produces collective, unruly, and becoming bodies. Collective bodies reflect collectively acquired, solidified, and contested medical knowledge and bodies produced in TTC communication. Unruly bodies are bodies that do not conform to standard medical narratives. Becoming bodies are marked by their shifting agency, such as pregnant or fetal bodies.
Existential vulnerability and transition
2021. Kristina Stenström, Teresa Cerratto Pargman. Nordicom Review 42 (S4), 168-184Article
In their efforts to find others who share their experiential reality and existential struggle, many involuntarily childless women turn to Instagram to engage and participate in the practice of trying-to-conceive (TTC) communication. Through the conceptual lens of digital existence, where the digital and online are regarded as constitutive of existential transition, we draw on ten interviews and an online ethnography to explore some of the struggles that involuntarily childless women experience with and through technology. We find that TTC communication can be constitutive of coming to terms with the status of involuntary childlessness. In particular, this study illustrates that TTC communication, for involuntarily childless women, is both a site of struggle and a safe space as they transition to nonmotherhood in an existential terrain where they share an intimate journey.
Show all publications by Kristina Stenström at Stockholm University