Philip Lalander

Philip Lalander

Department of Social Work Faculty of Social Sciences
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Some of my resent publications:

Precariousness among young migran...neoliberal social work in Sweden: Ingenta Connect Fast Track Article

Life Planning and Habitus: Opportunities and Constraints Among Unaccompanied Young Refugees in Sweden - Philip Lalander, Marcus Herz, 2021 ( 

Herz, M. & Lalander, P. (2021) Social work, young migrants and the act of listening: becoming an unaccompanied child. London: Routledge.



I teach at various levels, such as the social work program's undergraduate education and courses within the master's program in social work. In particular, I am committed to developing a critical social work that students and social workers find stimulating and useful in their professional lives. I also have extensive experience of postgraduate education and course development. This includes introductory courses on research in social work; qualitative methods; sociological theory that is particularly useful in social work. In addition to this I have written several textbooks, about social work, youth culture, migration and social psychology of everyday life.


Today, I dedicate my research time primarily to, through ethnographic methods, understand people who have ended up in vulnerable and insecure life situations, especially those who are often classified as a threat, such as "unaccompanied refugee children", people who are not seen as worthy enough to be included in the Swedish community, who are denied a residence permit and therefore apply to other countries, to seek asylum again and try to establish themselves. I relate their experiences and stories to various welfare state regimes that since 2015 have become increasingly harsh and guarding, in Sweden as well as in other European countries, against those who come "from outside".

Together with other fellow researchers, I participate in a project on hope in the asylum process, which from different perspectives examines what hope is, how it can be understood, expressed and changed, but also used as a tool of power by state actors. I am interested in the role of social work, both state-controlled and civil society, in relation to both exclusion and inclusion processes of people in need of protection and support. I want to, together with others, both researchers and practitioners in social work, develop a critical social work, which analyzes (often taken for granted) power structures and categorization processes and which sees the value of social justice as a prerequisite for reducing people's insecurity and suffering.

Before I started researching migration, I focused on people with illegal drug experience, their thoughts, desires, plans and experiences. Based on extensive ethnographic fieldwork that stretched between the years 2000 and 2015, I wrote a trilogy about Norrköping's (middle sized city in Sweden)young heroin users.  

See: Lalander, P. (2003) Hooked on Heroin: Drugs and Drifters in a Globalized World. Oxford: Berg Publishers.



Selected publications

Book (Other academic)

Chapter in book (Refereed)

Chapter in book (Other academic)

Chapter in book (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))