Tanja Joelsson

Tanja Joelsson

Biträdande lektor

Visa sidan på svenska
Works at Department of Child and Youth Studies
Telephone 08-120 762 81
Visiting address Svante Arrhenius väg 21A
Room 463
Postal address Barn- och ungdomsvetenskapliga institutionen 106 91 Stockholm

About me

Current research

  1. Evaluation of a manual based violence prevention program, Mentors in Violence Prevention, in selected Swedish elementary and upper secondary schools, together with Linnéa Bruno. Principal investigator is Professor Lucas Gottzén.
  2. PI of a project Families Everyday Mobility in Socially Deprived Neighbourhoods: Conditions, Negotiations and Challenges for Sustainable Urbanism funded by Formas (2019-2022) were the research team (Dag Balkmar, Örebro University, and Malin Henriksson, VTI) investigate how families living in socially deprived and ethnically diverse neighborhoods in three middle-sized cities in Sweden, move around on an everyday basis, and how family members manage and experience their everydaymobility. Case studies with families living in socially vulnerable areas will be carried out, applying a mixed method approach, which include mobility diaries, photo elicitation and walking interviews. Through a rich empirical material and careful analysis, the project will provide insight into how a justtransport system and sustainable urbanism can be achieved.
  3. Part of the research team on the project Sustainable Vertical Childhoods? Family apartment life and children's mobility and play (2019-2023), funded by Formas. PI is Danielle Ekman Ladru.  The overarching aim of the project is to understand parents' and children’s experiences of apartment living in relation to the everyday organization and negotiation of children’s mobility in terms of travel on foot/by bike, roaming and play. We will conduct interviews with caregivers and children, conduct short etnographies, collect data from thematic week diaries of children’s activities and use children’s photographs. An additional aim is to analyze families’ perspectives on how changes in neighborhood and wider urban space could facilitate children’s mobility and play. This aim will be fulfilled through focus groups with children and caregivers.

Previous research

I defended my thesis at Tema Genus in spring 2013, within the field of Critical Studies on Men and Masculinities. I was part of a wider research project titled 'Doing Driving, Doing Design: Gender, Age and Transport Practices' (4D), funded by Vinnova, Linköping University and Luleå University of Technology.

In my ethnographic thesis of the 'Volvo greasers' [Volvoraggare] in a peri-urban community in Sweden, risk-taking practices with motor vehicles, such as speeding and drifting, are explored and analyzed in relation to age, gender, class and place. Young men's risk-taking with motor vehicles regularly generates public debate as a traffic safety issue, often resulting in various policy suggestions, such as curfews or raising of the driving licence age. Seldom are these suggested solutions based on critical ethnographic research where intersections of age, gender, class and place are highlighted. The study is based on ethnographic fieldwork, that is, participant observation, and informal and formal interviews, with greaser men and women between the ages of 15 and 19, as well as formal interviews with pupils at the local high school and with youth centre staff in the local community.


A selection from Stockholm University publication database
  • 2020. Tanja Joelsson. Gendering Smart Mobilities

    The smart city has surfaced as pivotal in global discussions around unsustainable urban environments, but children, although constituting a major part of the global urban population,is surprisingly absent in these discussions. This text delves into the intersections of children’s mobility and sustainable urbanism, by arguing that empirical studies of children’s everyday mobilities and practices is crucial for understanding and working toward ‘smart’ cities. The need to conceptualize mobility as an assemblage of human and non-human relations, of technologies and the material, is central in this enterprise. Conceptualizing children’s mobilities as an assemblage is a fruitful way of approaching sustainable urbanism and smart cities, by providing a bottom-up approach where children’s (creative) practices take center stage. Some findings from a two-year ethnographic project with children aged 7-13 years and their parents from middle-class households in Sweden, illustrate the creativity and playfulness of children’s everyday mobility practices. The author suggests that the everyday creative and playful mobility practices could provide a new frame for how to work toward ‘smart’ cities and sustainable urban environments.

Show all publications by Tanja Joelsson at Stockholm University

Last updated: June 1, 2020

Bookmark and share Tell a friend