Torun Elsrud

Associate Professor
Department of Social Work Faculty of Social Sciences
23096, Hus Radix, Kalmar
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I am an associate professor in sociology, working at the Department of Social Work. I received my PhD in 2004 at the Dept. of Sociology at Lund University, Sweden. My thesis dealt with constructions of adventure narratives and myths in individual travelling (backpacking) to what is often described as the "third world".

After the dissertation, I have mainly devoted myself to teaching and research on various forms of inclusion and exclusion processes in society and on people's experiences of precarious living conditions in vulnerable environments. My research mainly concerns asylum seekers' experiences of Sweden and of continued flight within Europe, solidarity movements and civil resistance in times of growing societal injustices. I have a strong interest in how society's structuring conditions, such as laws, practices, norms, cultural and social values, are transformed into lived experiences in people's lives and their actions, regardless of whether these take form everyday chores, welfare services, legal interaction or asylum processes.

At Linnaeus University, I participate in a couple of research environments with a focus on migration issues, such as Social work and migration at the Department of Social Work, the Platform migration which is an interdisciplinary collaborative environment where research and professionals meet, and interdisciplinary LNUC Concurrences in colonial and postcolonial studies where I currently coordinate the cluster for migration, citizenship and belonging.

Further, I am a member of the Asylum Commission's steering group. The commission is a collaboration forum, initiated by Linköping University and FARR (Refugee Groups Riksråd), between researchers, professionals, civil society actors and people with personal experience of seeking asylum. The Commission is gathering and disseminating experiences and knowledge about lived experiences of restrictions in asylum laws and praxis since 2015. I am also part of a couple of international networks that focus on people's experiences of living under welfare restrictions and 'conditional belonging' within nation states. Since 2015, I have been involved in my spare time in asylum advocacy and had occasional assignments as a legal guardian. I see it as important for researchers and teachers to be anchored and present in the environments they speak about or for and to regard research as acts of reciprocity.


I teach various aspects of social work, critical social work, international social work, social psychology, cultural sociology, cultural and social meaning-making, gender, intersectionality, human rights, power relations, exclusion and inclusion processes, discrimination, racism, Eurocentrism, media representations, research ethics, ethnography and qualitative methods.


Article in journal (Refereed)

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Conference paper (Other academic)

Chapter in book (Other academic)

Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)

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Article, book review (Other academic)

Article in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))