Sarah Holst Kjær

Sarah Holst Kjaer

Biträdande lektor

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Arbetar vid Institutionen för etnologi religionshistoria och genusvetenskap (ERG)
Telefon 08-674 74 97
Besöksadress Universitetsvägen 10 E, plan 7
Rum E 756
Postadress 106 91 Stockholm 106 91 Stockholm

Om mig

Besides my administrative tasks as Director of Studies my present research project is based on ethnogpraphic fieldwork and is a culture analytical study on how Scandinavian mothers and children 'do' their relationality and familiarity through urban leisure life.

I do participant observation and qualitative interviews on playgrounds and streets, in museum halls and commercial arenas such as theme parks and shopping malls. I also analyse organisations which play an active role in the emotional dyadic life of mother and child, such as churches and the city's organised leisure activities.

My main interest is to investigate the historical changes in urban space related to human life: what happens to childhood and motherhood when urban space is contested by other ‘life-forms’ such as car-driving, the necessity of spending of money on leisure or by the protection – or even over-control - of children exploring on their own.

I have named the project ‘Women in Waiting. A Cultural Analysis of the Mother-Child Relationship’ and this refer to the situation that many Scandinavian women are in - that being with the child is secondary to paid labour. The study will result in a monograph that will continue the work I did at the Department of Arts and Cultural Sciences, Lund University, where I wrote my doctorate thesis Sådan er det at elske. En kulturanalyse af parforhold [Such is it to Love. A Culture Analysis of Coupling, Copenhagen: Museum Tusculanum Press, 2009, Danish language] on Scandinavian male-female relationships and the heteronormativity that surrounds the relationality of romantic coupling. Here, I studied the urban leisure activities on the dancefloor, at the coffee shop table, in the cinema and in the sofa. How the couple created romantic relationality through these materialities and fantasies about romance, happiness and long lasting love, were my main interests. My main conclusion was that doing romantic coupling can not exist without numorous of fantasies originating from succeeding and being successful as an individual in late modern life.


My teaching experience has over the years been applied. I have instrumentalised ethnology and folklore studies into business management and development in small and medium sized firms, especially in the regional culture-, experience,- and tourism industry.

I have taught advanced cultural studies, globalisation and diversity management, consumer studies, hospitality management, tourism studies, experience economy, storytelling in organisations, arts- and museum management on both a technical college-level, on a phd-level and on an executive level in companies.

At the Department of Ethnology, History of Religions and Gender Studies, Stockholm University, I supervise and teach urban studies, museum studies, critical culture heritage studies, folklore studies, migration studies and the history of science.



Since 2008, I have converted my academic knowledge into developing the regional tourism and culture industry in Scandinavia. This practise originates from 'action research' but is today often called 'culture-based innovation'. The method is ethnographic and concern using the concepts of 'culture and experience' in the broadest sense in order to create social and economic sustainability in small communities. 'Theming' experience space towards certain target groups, designing experience products and ways of businesses collaborating through different business-models are my fields of expertise.

My research topics have been analysing and developing e.g. cultural festivals, theme parks, culture heritage towns, urban and rural leisure arenas investigating and transforming 'sense of place' into experience products. I have done a number of culture history museum studies in Scandinavia and in America in relation to the hospitality dimensions, 'friendliness' and customisations towards different types of guests.

List of references

Kjaer, Sarah Holst:

2017. Getting China-ready. I: Hans Christian Garmann Johnsen, Elisabet S. Hauge & May-Linda Magnussen & Richard Ennals (eds.), Applied Social Science Research in a Regional Knowledge System: Balancing validity, meaning and convenience? London & New York: Routledge, 229-251.

2016. Aas, T. H., Hjemdahl, K.M. and Kjær, S.H. Innovation practices in cultural organisations: implications for innovation policy, International Journal of Tourism Policy, Vol. 6, Nos. 3/4, 212-234.

2016. The Performative Museum. Designing a Total Experience. In: Jonas Frykman & Maja Povrzanović Frykman (eds), Sensitive Objects: Affect and Material Culture. Lund: Nordic Academic Press, 237-255.

2015. Den digitale rejse. Digitaliseringsprojekter i regional kulturarvsindustri. Kulturella Perspektiv, svensk etnologisk tidskrift, 3-4, årg. 24, 53-64. 

2014. Scandinavian Things and Chinese Taste. Becoming China-Ready in the Regional Tourism Industry, 7/2014. Agder Research, Kristiansand, Norway. ISSN 0808-5544. Report.

2013. Skærgårdsbyen. Edvard Munchs kunst som stedsudvikling. In: Cecilie Fredriksson & Mia Larsson (eds.), Framtidskuster, Göteborg: Makadam Förlag, 71-89.

2012. Museal stedsudvikling: Tordenskjold was here! Nordisk Museologi. Tema: Museer og ulikheters kulturelle dynamikk. 2012:2, 64-82.

2011a. Designing a Waterworld. Culture-Based Innovation and Ethnography in Regional Experience Industry. In: Tom O’Dell & Robert Willim (eds.), Ethnologia Europea, Journal of European Ethnology 2011, vol. 41:1. Special issue: Irregular Ethnography, 81-95.

2011b. Kystturisme, fyrtårne og romantisk oplevelsesdesign. It’s Lovely Here! Kulturella Perspektiv, svensk etnologisk tidskrift, nr. 2, årgang 20, 21-32.

2011c. Meaningful‐Experience Design and Event Management. A Post‐Event Analysis of Copenhagen Carnival 2009. In: Can Seng Ooi & Birgit Stöber (eds.), Culture Unbound, A Journal of Current Cultural Issues. Theme: Policies, Governments and the Creative and Cultural Industries, vol. 3, 2011, 243-267.

2011d. Home and the Longing for Easy Familiarity. Ethnologia Scandinavica, Journal of Nordic Ethnology, vol. 41, 2011, 56-69.

2010. Den emotionelle storby. In: Jahn Thon & Roy Eriksen (eds.): Hvem eier byen? Tekst, plan og historie, Oslo: Novus Forlag, 127‐141.

2009. A Little Death Around the Eyes. Heroin, kulturindustri og Pete(r) Dohertys autofiktioner. Kulturella Perspektiv. Svensk Etnologisk Tidskrift,nr 3‐4, 70‐80.

2009. Future Capsule. Norway, manuscript and storyline production with Dan Korneli, director. Documentary Film.

2009. Sådan er det at elske. En kulturanalyse af parforhold [Such is it to Love. A Cultural Analysis of Coupling], Copenhagen: Museum Tusculanum Press. Dissertation.

2008. Sørlandets op- og nedture i historien. In: Sarah Holst Kjær, Per Strömberg & Jon Olav Pedersen (eds.), Fremtidskapselen. Fra vugge til grav, Agder Research, Prosjektserie 29/08. Report.

2008. Känn ingen sorg för mig Göteborg – Kommercialisme, atmosfære og byfestivaler, Web-Article.

2008. Festivaler er ren musik‐nostalgi! Web-Article.

2008. Roskilde festival 2008 evalueret. Også i maskulinitetsperspektiv. Web-Article.

2008. Festivaler fungerer som teambuilding i næringslivet. Web-Article.

2008. Sydspidsen. Oplevelsesdesign i fire turistnæringer. Agder Research. Report.

2008. Verden er i Norge. Om kulturfestivaler. Web-Article.

2007. Oceaner och kaptener? Om könsdrömmar, sex och parförhållande. In: Lars‐Eric Jönsson (ed.) Kulturens Årsbok, Lund: 121-131.

2006. Manden og husarbejdet ‐ det mørke kontinent? In: Robert Willim (ed.), ETNHEM (2006:2), Etnologiska Insitutionen, Lund University: 121-128.

2006. Backpacker Non‐stop! In: Tidsskriftserie for ungdomsforskning, Learning Lab Denmark, DPU, Denmark.

2006. Silence. In: Orvar Löfgren & Richard Wilk (eds.), Off the Edge. Experiments in Cultural Analysis, Copenhagen: Museum Tusculanum Press, 141-148.

2005. Silence. In: Orvar Löfgren & Richard Wilk (eds,), Ethnologia Europaea, Journal of European Ethnology (35:1‐2, 2005), Copenhagen: Museum Tusculanum Press, 141-148.

2003. Pornstar. Når eksperter konstruerer unges sekseuelle identitet, NIKK Magasin, nr. 1.

1999. Vad har du med i ryggsäcken? In: Tom O’Dell (ed.), NonStop! Turist i upplevelsesindustrialism, Lund: Historiska Media, 236‐255.

Senast uppdaterad: 9 oktober 2018

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