Photo of Johanna Annerbäck

Johanna Annerbäck

Assistant Professor

My research is conducted at the intersection between different fields of research. I am theoretically interested in issues concerning children and agency and methodological questions concerning children’s participation, perspectives and voices.

Children, participation, and agency

What does it mean to listen to children, how do we listen, and what consequences does it have for the visibility and invisibility of different groups of children in research? These are important questions in my research.

I conduct qualitative research at the intersection between different fields of research such as child and childhood studies, family studies and economic sociology. In my research, I mainly work with ethnographic methods such as participant observations and qualitative interview methods. Among other things, I am interested in methodological issues concrning children's voices, participation and perspectives. My research interests are also interwoven by the theoretical interest in issues concerning children and agency, parenthood, and family life.

Current research

I am at the moment involved in two research projects relating to school, Sustainable encounters in large preschool playgrounds, and The teacher rebellion group on Facebook. Among other things and as a part of one of the projects I focus on the toddlers and their activities at the playgrounds. I explore how children’s activities and movements are both invited and excluded by the playgrounds as places (for children), and how children and place mutually shape each other.

Previous research projects

Family adoption return trips

My dissertation explores adoption return trips conducted by families with young children. The study focused on questions relating to how children and their parents reason about the decision to conduct an adoption return trip, the planning of the trip’s content and their experiences of the trip. The study shows that both children and parents are involved in planning and implementing the adoption return trips. Adoption return trips are created in interactions between children and their parents, involving recommendations for adoption return trips, hopes, conditions, opportunities, risks and, not least, individual fears. In addition, the study shows that family adoption return trips are the result of dynamic family processes that create and actualise values and ideas about family life, parenthood, children, holidays and money – and that children are part of how such values and ideals are created.

Foster care

I have also been working on projects related to foster care in the Swedish context. Together with a colleague, I carried out an evaluation of a joint foster care organisation in 2021.



Anna Sparrman, Yelyzaveta Hrechaniuk, Olga Anatoli Smith (Ivanova), Klara Andersson, Deniz Arzuk, Johanna Annerbäck, Linnea Bodén, Mindy Blaise, Claudia Castañeda, Rebecca Coleman, Florian Eßer, Matt Finn, Daniel Gustafsson, Peter Holmqvist, Jonathan Josefsson, Peter Kraftl, Nick Lee, Karín Lesnik-Oberstein, Sarah Mitchell, Karin Murris, Alex Orrmalm, David Oswell, Alan Prout, Rachel Rosen, Katherine Runswick-Cole, Johanna Sjöberg, Karen Smith, Spyros Spyrou, Kathryn Bond Stockton, Affrica Taylor, Ohad Zehavi, Emilia Zotevska (2023) Child Studies Multiple: Collaborative play for thinking through theories and methods Culture Unbound. Journal of Current Cultural Research, Vol. 15 Continue to DOI


Alex Orrmalm, Johanna Annerbäck, Anna Sparrman (2022) Listening by 'staying with' the absent child Barn, Vol. 40, p. 70-84 Continue to DOI
Johanna Gustafsson (2022) Adoptivfamiljers motiv till att göra återresor - föräldrars och barns perspektiv: [Adoptive families' motives for conducting adoptionreturn trips - parents' and children's perspectives] BARN - Forskning om barn og barndom i Norden, Vol. 40, p. 27-41 Continue to DOI
Johanna Annerbäck, Anna Sparrman (2022) The Child Tourist: Agency and Cultural Competence in VFR Travel Tourism and Hospitality, Vol. 2, p. 451-465 Continue to DOI


Johanna Gustafsson, Johanna Sköld (2021) Utvärdering av gemensam familjehemsorganisation


CV in short

  • 2014
    Linköping university, Linköping. PhD-student Child Studies.
  • 2012-2014
    Linköping University, Linköping. Degree of Master of Social and Welfare studies, 120 credits
  • 2009-2012
    Linköping University, Linköping. Degree of Bachelor of Tourism studies, 180 credits


I mainly teach in courses at the International Master Program in Child Studies and at the Teacher Training Program. I am also the assistant course director of the single subject course School and sexuality – from child to youth.


  • Editorial board for Sociologisk Forskning [Sociological research].
  • Network for social and cultural research on babies and young children. I am the coordinator of an international network that gathers researchers engaged in social and cultural research on babies and young children. The network has a focus on a broad range of issues concerning the youngest children in child and childhood research.