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Anette Wickström

Associate Professor

My research combines the interest in children’s and young people’s everyday life with issues on how knowledge about children’s and young people’s health is produced. I address young people’s agency, societal norms, medical practice, and social media.

Children’s and young people’s agency and societal processes and discourses

In my research I study children’s and young people’s stories and actions as well as the norms and ideals they are faced with via the influencers they follow in social media, when they participate in health promotion activities, medical practice or screening of mental health.

Based on children’s and young people’s stories and on theories of medical anthropology/sociology, childhood sociology and STS, science and technology studies, I examine how children and young people negotiate public discourses on health and wellbeing. It concerns an interest for complex social processes – to identify social and cultural ideas, and how children and young people interpret and change the meanings of activities, assumptions and norms.

Ethnographic approaches

In my research I use ethnographic methods such as participant observations, video observations, individual interviews, group interviews, video diary with elicitation interviews and document studies. The motive for working with ethnographic methods is that everyday life makes material/structural conditions and human strategies understandable. The carrying out of an ethnographic fieldwork is based on the researcher’s curiosity and interest in learning something new. In my research I have been working with ethnographic methods among families in the rural area in north-eastern South Africa and in orthodontic clinics and schools in Sweden.

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  • FORTE 2020-2024. Apps and downs: Mental health and teenage girls’ interpretations of social media content.
  • FORTE project 2016-2020. "Feeling low” and ”have difficulties sleeping": An ethnographic study on how young people make sense of psychological (ill) health.
  • Vetenskapsrådet 2016-2022. Psychological distress among school-children: young people's negotiations. Delprojekt i A feminist approach to medical screening (Kristin Zeiler).
  • Vetenskaprådet projekt 2012-2015. An improved smile – how young people and orthodontists create Ett förbättrat leende - så skapar ungdomar och ortodontin reglerade bett.
  • Vetenskapsrådet post doc 2011-2012. Negotiations of norms and ideal in orthodontic practice.

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Academic Degrees

  • 2018
    Associate Professor in Child Studies, Department of Thematic Studies, Linköping university.
  • 2015
    Docent in Child Studies, Department of Thematic Studies, Linköping university.
  • 2011
    Senior lecturer in social anthropology at Department of Thematic Studies, Linköping university.
  • 2009
    Senior lecturer in Social Anthropology, Department of Culture and Communication, Linköping university.
  • 2008
    Ph.D. at Department of health and society, Linköping university,

Assignment (selected)

  • Opponent for the doctoral thesis by Marie Kolmos. Roskilde University. 2019.

  • Director of doctoral studies, Child Studies, Linköpings University.
  • Member of the examination committee for the doctoral thesis by Linnea Hanell. Stockholm University. 2017
  • Member of the examination committee for the doctoral thesis by Jir Barzang. Örebro University. 2017
  • Opponent for the doctoral thesis by Dina Danielsen. Roskilde University. 2016
  • Member of the examination committee for the doctoral thesis by Gunilla Hallonsten. Lund University. 2012

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