Research Interests

My research has included the study of ideology and ideological change, particularly in the media. In my dissertation I analysed the ideological change that took place in Sweden beginning in the late 1960’s: ‘the shift to the right’. I have also taken a research interest in ideology and language and the relation between ideological change and changes in language use.

During the past few years, I have studied ethnic and other kinds of discrimination, in particular how discrimination of this kind is expressed in argumentation and rhetoric. I do, however, also analyse how language use is connected with other social practices, such as how things are done at work places. In addition, I have studied right wing populism as expressed in general election campaigns in Austria, Denmark, and Sweden and how right wing populism relates to discrimination of immigrants.
I also take an interest in discourse analysis and other kinds of textual analysis as method and theory.



I am employed as a visiting professor at Södertörn University for the period of April 2013 – December 2014 and will, thus, only be giving one course – Forskningsdesign (in Swedish) in the Master’s Programme – and acting as a supervisor for theses at Stockholm University. During Spring Semester 2014, I will give a PhD course entitled Working with Large Corpora and Using Software in Discourse Analysis and Conceptual History (in English) at Södertörn University. Information about the course can be found at the following address:!/p3/ext/content.nsf/aget?openagent&key=phd_course_spring_2014_1378726200326


Current Research Project

‘Equal Workplaces in a World of Inequality: a study of what promotes gender equality and ethnic equality at Swedish workplaces’ (Research project funded by the Swedish Research Council, 2011-2014)

Project group:

Kristina Boréus and Soheyla Yazdanpanah, Dept. of Political Science, Stockholm University

Alireza Behtoui, Dept. of Social Anthropology, Stockholm University and Södertörn University

Anders Neergaard, REMESO, Linköping University


Swedish as well as international research shows that women, as compared to men, and immigrants, as compared to natives, tend to earn less in the same or similar jobs and that the former groups have poorer chances of promotion and poorer access to advantages at workplaces. Although this pattern in the Swedish labour market is well researched, we know little about how such inequalities are generated and perpetuated at a local level.

In this project several workplaces in the geriatric care sector are studied with the purpose of generating knowledge about what it is that promotes equality at workplaces. We study the importance of individual employees’ access to cultural capital (e.g. education and language skills) and to social capital (i.e. useful social contacts outside of as well as inside the workplace) within the social organisations that the workplaces constitute. Individual access to such capital is related to social structures at the workplaces.

Furthermore, we also investigate whether it is easier for certain employees and not others to have their useful skills – such as language skills – ‘capitalised’ in the form of higher wages and promotion and whether it is easier for certain employees and not others to gather social capital – to become part of workplace networks. 

Finally, we study whether local discourses that produce and perpetuate ideas as to what is male and female, Swedish and non-Swedish, contribute to the inequalities found.

The methods used are a survey, individual interviews with employees, participatory (participant?) observation and discourse analysis of what is said and written at the workplaces.


Selected Publications (in English)

(2013) ”Nationalism and Discursive Discrimination against Immigrants in Austria, Denmark and Sweden”, in Wodak, Ruth, KhosraviNik, Majid & Mral, Brigitte (Eds.) Right-Wing Populism in Europe. Politics and Discourse London: Bloomsbury.

(2010) ”Including or Excluding Immigrants: The Impact of Right-Wing Populism in Denmark and Sweden”, in Bengtsson, Bo, Strömblad, Per & Bay, Ann-Helén (Eds.) Diversity, Inclusion and Citizenship in Scandinavia, Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

(2007) “Discursive discrimination of the ‘deaf-mute’/’deaf’ and the importance of categorisation in 20th century Sweden”, Disability & Society, Vol. 22, No. 6.

(2006) "Discursive Discrimination of 'Immigrants' in Sweden", in Linde, Claes, Eduards, Maud and Segerberg, Alexandra (Eds.) State of Welfare. Politics, Policies and Parties in (Post-) Welfare Society, Stockholm: Dept. of Political Science, Stockholm University, pp. 13-45.

(2006) "Discursive discrimination of the 'mentally deficient' in interwar Sweden", Disability & Society, Vol. 21, No. 5, pp. 441-454.

(2006) "Discursive Discrimination: A Typology", European Journal of Social
9(3), pp. 405-424.

(1999) ‘‘The significance of conceptual stability for ideological stability: The ideological shift to the right in the Swedish public debate as an example’’ Journal of Pragmatics No. 31: 1-24.

(1997) "The shift to the right: Neo-liberalism in argumentation and language in the Swedish public debate since 1969" European Journal of Political Research 31: 257-286.

(1994) Högervåg. Nyliberalismen och kampen om språket i svensk debatt 1969 - 1989 [The Shift to the Right: Neo-Liberalism and the Struggle over Language in Swedish Public Debate 1969-1989] Stockholm: Tidens förlag (dissertation). In Swedish with a summary in English. /LÄNK HÄR