Photo of Desirée Enlund

Desirée Enlund

Assistant Professor

My interests concern how people imagine a more just society and how people act against different types of injustices. I study societal change through peoples’ collective actions and how people come together to fight injustices.

Societal change can happen when a group of people has decided to come together to change something. But how does this evolve in practice? What makes people go from words to action? And what do people’s collective actions through social movements, cooperatives, trade unions, and other civil society organizations say about perceived socio-spatial injustices and ongoing social, political, and economic change? These questions I address in my research span feminist, political, and economic geography, and rural and urban spaces.


MD GIG: Individual motivations & collective responses to gig work among medical doctors

MD GIG examines the transition to digital service provision in the public services by exploring the rise of the ‘online doctor’ that provides consultations between doctor-patient via app-based mobile phone technology. The aim is to explore the digitalization of healthcare from a worker perspective to highlight the preconditions that give rise to gig work in the healthcare sector and explore the potential consequences at different scales. Whereas before all patients had to go to a primary care center on appointment during office hours, today patients can have a consult with a doctor on-demand at any time and from anywhere. Medical work’s entry into the platform economy, where work is reshaped into “gigs” that workers perform where and when they want, is developing parallel to the organizational and economic restructuring of the healthcare system towards more marketization and private-public partnerships. The project sets out to understand the individual motivations for doctors to take up work in digital doctor platforms through in-depth interviews to produce narratives based on the MDs own experiences, to explore the approach of the trade unions and medical associations to digital doctor platforms through expert interviews with high-level union employees to document their hopes, fears and strategies regarding changing labour markets and working conditions, and to analyse the role of digital doctor platforms in public healthcare restructuring to produce a political economy of digital healthcare in Sweden.
Period and financier: 2022-2025, Vetenskapsrådet (The Swedish Research Council)


Sustainability means inclusivity: Engaging citizens in early-stage smart city development

In my current research, I study how municipal planners and engineers imagine the users and uses of smart city technology and how this in turn shapes the development of this technology. At the same time, we study how citizens can be included earlier in the development of smart technologies and smart cities.


Contentious countrysides: social movements reworking and resisting public healthcare restructuring in rural Sweden

In my doctoral thesis, I study the changes the Swedish public healthcare has gone through since the 1990s through two cases of social movements and cooperatives organizing to protest marketization and privatization of the healthcare system, at the same time as they were working to create alternative ways of organizing healthcare through citizen cooperatives where other values than those of the market guided the operations. One case followed a worker’s cooperative primary care center that opened in the early 1990s and later transformed into a citizen cooperative owned by the local community. The other case concerned the cutbacks and closures of several wards at a local hospital from 2015 onwards, where protests and demonstrations turned into an occupation of the hospital entrance and later the opening of a citizen cooperative primary care center, owned by the community. In these two cases, different strategies developed through different periods and in different places that shed light on the ongoing restructuring of the public healthcare system and its consequences of socio-spatial injustice in rural areas.

Research projects and networks



Desirée Enlund, Katherine Harrison, Rasmus Ringdahl, Ahmet Börütecene, Jonas Löwgren, Vangelis Angelakis (2022) The role of sensors in the production of smart city spaces Big Data and Society, Vol. 9, Article 20539517221110218 Continue to DOI
Desirée Enlund (2022) Ådalen igen: Från hungerstrejk till sjukvårdsockupation Arbetarhistoria : Meddelande från Arbetarrörelsens Arkiv och Bibliotek, Vol. 181-182, p. 66-75
Desirée Enlund (2022) Struggles around public healthcare restructuring and rural futures Gender, Place and Culture, Vol. 29, p. 1039-1043 Continue to DOI
Anne Gotfredsen, Desirée Enlund, Isabel Goicolea, Evelina Landstedt (2022) Precarious leisure in a teenage wasteland?: Intertwining discourses on responsibility and girls' place-making in rural Northern Sweden Journal of Youth Studies, Vol. 0, p. 1350-1366 Continue to DOI


Carolina Pettersson, Desirée Enlund (2021) Landsbygdernas värdeskapande: introduktion till avsnittets texter Landsbygder, p. 24-28


  • Visiting researcher, Nordic Centre for Internet and Society, Department of Communication and Culture, Norwegian Business School, Norway, 2024-2025
  • Visiting researcher, Department of Sociology and Human Geography, University of Oslo, Norway 2023-2024
  • Rudolf Meidner Award 2020 for research into the labour movements history awarded by the research council at the Swedish Labour Movement’s Archives and Library
  • Ph.D. in Social and Economic Geography, Department of Geography, Umeå University, Sweden, 2020
  • MSc in Sociology, with a focus on Urban Studies, cum laude, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 2015


I teach and supervise master’s students in the program Gender Studies – Intersectionality and Change. I also teach courses in Human Geography and Spatial Planning at Tema M and Tema T, both within the teacher’s program and the BSc and MSc programs in Spatial Planning.
A group of students sitting at a table

Gender Studies - Intersectionality and Change, Master's Programme, 120 credits

You learn to challenge norms and structures in education, organisations, media and politics. Focusses in intersectional gender – gender in interplay with other social categorisation such as ethnicity, nationality, sexuality, age, (dis)ability etc.