profilbild vår 2018

Mikaela Sundberg

Professor of Sociology

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Works at Department of Sociology
Telephone 08-16 19 73
Visiting address Universitetsvägen 10 B, plan 9
Room B 970
Postal address Sociologiska institutionen 106 91 Stockholm

About me

I am a Professor of Sociology at the Department of Sociology, Stockholm University, and Director of Research at Stockholm Centre for Organizational Research (SCORE).


My research spans several substantive and theoretical fields, including organizational sociology, microsociology, science and technology studies, sociology of religion and military sociology. I have a longstanding interest in sociology of science and science and technology studies, but in recent years, my research has primarily focused on social relations in voluntary total institutions.

Based on extensive ethnographic work, the book A Sociology of the Total Organization: Atomistic Unity in the French Foreign Legion (Routledge, 2015) examines the organization of everyday life inside the regiments of the French Foreign Legion as a total institution.

My current book project, The Meaning of Love in Monastic Life: Fraternal Relations and Regulated Intimacy in a Total Institution (under contract with Routledge), explores social relations in French monasteries of the Cistercian Order of Strict Observance, one of the strictest cloistered orders of the Catholic Church. People enter Catholic monasteries to dedicate themselves to a religious life, and the relationship with fellow monks and nuns is essential for this vocation. How do monks and nuns understand the idea of Christian love and how does it affect their relationships? Conceptualizing fraternal relations as a decided, collectivist, egalitarian form of relation prescribing brotherly love, this book shows how monks and nuns struggle to live up to monastic ideals and how the physical realities of cloistered life affect this.

My research has been funded by several research grants from the Swedish Research Council and has appeared in journals such as Sociology, Social Studies of Science, Science, Technology and Human Values, Current Sociology, Acta Sociologica and European Journal of Sociology. 

Selected publications

On monasteries

Sundberg, M.  (2020) Differences in Secondary Adjustments among Monks and Nuns. Current Sociology. Online first Link

Sundberg, M. (2020) The Politics of Monastic Life. Opportunities for Exit and Voice in a Voluntary Total Institution. European Journal of Sociology. First view Link

Sundberg, M. (2019) "You can't just stick with those you like"- Why friendship practices threaten fraternal life in Cistercian monasteries. Sociology. Link

Sundberg, M (2019) Work practices, normative control and ascetic responsibilization in Cistercian monasteries. Journal of Management, Spirituality and Religion. Link

On the French Foreign Legion

Sundberg, M. (2015) A Sociology of the Total Organization: Atomistic Unity in the French Foreign Legion. Routledge.Link

Sundberg, M. (2019) "Brotherhood as a social relationship" in Ahrne, G. and Brunsson, N (eds) Organization outside Organization. The Abundance of Partial Organization in Social Life. Cambridge University Press. Link

On scientific practices 

Sundberg, M. (2012) Creating Convincing Simulations in Astrophysics, Science, Technology and Human Values, 37(1).

Sundberg, M. (2011) The Dynamics of Coordinated Comparisons: How simulationists in Astrophysics, Oceanography and Meteorology create Standards for Results, Social Studies of Science, 41(1).

Sundberg, M. (2010) Cultures of Simulations vs. Cultures of Calculations? The Development of Simulation Practices in Meterology and Astrophysics, Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 41(3).

Sundberg, M. (2010) Organizing Simulation Code Collectives, Science Studies, 23(1).

Sundberg, M. (2009) The Everyday World of Simulation Modelling: The Construction of Parameterizations in Meteorology, Science, Technology and Human Values, 34 (2).

Sundberg, M. (2007) Parameterizations as Boundary Objects on the Climate Arena, Social Studies of Science 37 (3).

Sundberg, M. (2007) Mobilizing Networks. Researcher Roles in Atmospheric Science, Acta Sociologica, 50(3).

Sundberg, M. (2006) Credulous Modellers and Suspicious Experimentalists? Comparison of Model Output and Data in Meteorological Simulation Modelling,  Science Studies, 19(1).

Last updated: January 15, 2021

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