My research spans over the fields of sociology, migration studies, critical race and whiteness studies, and gender studies.
I am Associate professor in Sociology and Professor Designate in Ethnicity and Migration at the Division of Migration, Ethnicity and Society (REMESO).
I defended my thesis in sociology at the University of Uppsala in 2007 and became Associate Professor of Sociology in 2011. I have worked as a teacher and researcher in sociology and gender studies at Uppsala University, Mälardalen University, Stockholm University, Lund University, Umeå university, Södertörn University, Linköping University, and Multicultural Centre, primarily within the fields of sociology and gender studies. I have also been a visiting researcher at the Department of Linguistic Anthropology at University of Arizona, Tucson (2005) and at the Department of Sociology, at University of California, Santa Barbara (2007-2008). I was a post doc at Umeå Centre for Gender Studies (UCGS), at Umeå University between 2009 and 2011. Between 2013 and 2019, I was appointed Future Research Leader at Linköping University.
I approach whiteness as a local and transnational construct, in which the meaning of whiteness and white identities shift intersectionally and contextually. In my dissertation Swedish Latinas: race, class and gender in the geography of Swedishness (Makadam, 2007), I examine the interrelation between whiteness and Swedishness, and how young Latinas negotiate the boundaries of national identity in this context in relation to race, class, gender, and sexuality.
After my disputation, I initiated an extensive project on transnational Swedishness and migration funded by The Sweden-America Foundation. From ethnographic studies with Swedish women in southwestern US, Singapore and southern Spain, I discuss how the analytical framework for migration studies can be developed by empirically including white, western migrants into the theoretical understanding of ‘the migrant’ and migration processes. The ethnographic study is presented in the book White Migrations: gender, whiteness and privilege in transnational migration (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014).
In a following study on Swedish migration, I investigate how women who had lived abroad negotiate gender equality and national identity when they move back to Sweden. The project “Re-integrating Swedishness: the politics of belonging among returning Swedish migrant women” was funded by the Swedish Research Council (2013–2017).
Together with associate professor Tobias Hübinette, I have developed a historicized analysis of the emergence of Swedish hegemonic whiteness from 1905 and forward. Our analysis departures from the question of how the loss of white homogeneity in Sweden is handled by the progressive and the conservative side, who, we suggest, identify with different historical periods of hegemonic whiteness, yet mourning the loss of the same national identity. Our theoretical model of Swedish whiteness is presented in the book White melancholia: an analysis of a nation in crisis (Makadam 2020).