Kristina Gustafsson

Kristina Gustafsson

Associate Professor
Department of Social Work Faculty of Social Sciences
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My research is in the field of international migration and ethnic relations (IMER). Since the mid 1990:ies I have been teaching and conducting research about issues of migration, integration and diversity with a special focus on education, languages and fundamental values. My dissertation, "Muslim school on Swedish conditions: Conflict, identity and negotiation"(2004) investigates issues of history, identity, culture and power relations in a multicultural society from postcolonial perspectives and in the light of political philosophy.

In two joint research projects (2008 - 2011) "The interpreter a cultural broker", and "Behind closed doors: the significance of interpreting for legal security and integration with emphasis on the reception of separated minors and children", Norström, Fioretos and I investigated community interpreters experiences of interpreted encounters and the impact of interpreting for legal security and integration. We analysed everything from the training of interpreters and authorization possibilities to the use of interpreters in various public service areas. The results show a lack of legal security and integration in the field of interpreting. We also investigated the reception of separated minors in Sweden. Law and regulation, daily care and routines were mapped. In this research we had a special focus on the experiences of separated minors and the meaning of interpreting and sharing languages.

During 2103 and 2014 I researched in another field with the study "Culture in elderly care: Encounters, expectations and change" The project was conducted in cooperation with Swedish Arts Council Region Halland and Halland Educational Association. The purpose was to analyse the impact of cultural interventions in the organization and work within elderly care. The research is based on ethnographic method. The concept of culture is interpreted firstly as esthetical culture, such as art, music, theatre and literature. Esthetical culture in this sense is used in cultural interventions in elderly care. In the analyse theory developed within moral philosophy and liberal art tradition is used. A prominent idea is that cultural interventions might challenge mind and thoughts and give persons tools for self-reflection and ethical negotiation in the daily work with old people. 

In 2015 i have been doing research about parental programs for migrants. This project is commissioned by Stockholm City Research and Development Unit and the County Administrative Board, Stockholm.

In 2016 I led a project about the reception of refugees and migrants in Sweden entitled "Småland as a venue of the world's refugee reception in 2015-2016". The project is conducted in cooperation between the department of social work, the department of culture sciences, the LNUCentre Concurrences in colonial and postcolonial studies at Linnaeus university, the regional museum of Kalmar and the museum of Kulturparken Småland, Växjö and the Country Administrative Boards of Kalmar and Kronoberg. Active in the research are Ph.D Jesper Johansson and Ph. D. Åsa Trulsson. The project is funded by a grant from Linnaues Universiy stimulating research collaboration with the surrounding community. 

In the autumn 2017 I also led a reserach project about communication with non Swedish speaking users and patients in social services and healt care. The reserach is initaited and financed by Socialstyrelsen. Collaborators in this project are reserach assistant Petra Höglund, Ph. D Eva Norström and Ph D. Ingrid Fioretos.


I am a teacher at the program in Social work at Linnaeus university and reposnible for the course 4SA711 Social work with children, young people and families togehter with Christina Carlsson. I am also iunvolved in masterclassses, teaching about qualitative research methods and ethnography.


In 2020 I will start two new research projects. 

One of the is called "Asylum nterviews in South Africa and Sweden: Experiences, interpretations, and negotiations". It is funded by the Crafoord foundation and is conducted in collaboration with Dr Lisa Ottosson, Linnaeus university and Dr Pineteh Angu, Pretoria university. The project seeks to investigate the asylum procedure in two countries, South Africa and Sweden. The focus of this project is the individual asylum interview, where the oral account of the applicant plays a key role in determining the legitimacy of each case. 

The other project is called "Cultural dialouge via an interpreter" and is finaced by the Asylum, migration and integration foundation. This project is conducted in collaboration with Örebro interpreter and translation services and Borlänge municipal interpreting agency. In a pilot study interpreters were trained as cultural communicators. They conducted lectures about culture, religion, society and everyday situations in dialogue with newly arrived refugees and migrants and with staff at various welfare institutions. Besides reserach, the main goal is to establish a course syllabus for training of interpreters, a method for the dialogue lectures, to complete 233 lectures and a research evaluation during the project period. The output is that newcomers get tools for handling their everyday life in the new country and that public service providers can provide them with a legally secure and non-discriminatory services.


2018 – 2020 Member of the board of the Swedish association for Schools of Social Work SASSW (secretary)

2018 - 2021 Member in the directorial board of LNUC Concurrences in colonial and postcolonial studies

2018 – Leader of the research group Social work and migration at the department of social work, Linnaeus university.

2016 -2021 Member in the Faculty board (the faculty of social sciences, Linnaeus university)

2014 – 2023 Member of the regional ethical review board in Linköping. Since 2019 I am assigned as Scientific secretary.


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