Language and social interaction research

Language and social interaction are core elements of the practice of social work. I am interested in detailed analyses of such interaction, this may be face-to-face-interaction as well as interaction online. This has so far resulted in research on identity and social interaction in various settings, including detention homes for troubled youth, emergency services and internet and telephone counselling organizations. Another central interest concerns rights and the participation of children and young people.

One project investigates the practice of online social work and counselling where I follow and analyse the professional practice, its possibilities and limitations.  

Together with a colleague I am also investigating the Swedish children’s rights organisation BRIS. During 2012-2013, BRIS changed from being an organization based on volunteers taking calls to the helpline, in regional centers all over Sweden to a centralized organization, with a head office in Stockholm, where all call takers to the helpline are professional counsellors. The project wishes to investigate the background to this process of professionalization as well as how changed relations between civil society organizations and the public welfare sector have an impact on the politics concerning children’s rights promoted by BRIS. 

I teach courses in social work involving children and young people, talk and social interaction and theories and methods in social work research.

Publications Show/Hide content

Selected publications Show/Hide content

Karin Osvaldsson (2015)

Discursive psychology: classic and contemporary issues , s.147-161 Continue to DOI

Jakob Cromdal, Susan Danby, Michael Emmison, Karin Osvaldsson, Charlotte Cobb-More (2018)

Symbolic interaction , Vol.41 , s.25-44 Continue to DOI

Ann Weatherall, Susan Danby, Karin Osvaldsson, Jakob Cromdal, Michael Emmison (2016)

Australian Journal of Linguistics , Vol.36 , s.224-238 Continue to DOI

CV (select) and networking  Show/Hide content


2014 Associate professor in Child studies, Linköping University
2002 Ph.D. in Child studies, Linköping University 
Thesis:  Talking Trouble –Institutionality and Identity in a Youth Detention Home.


Doctoral programmes coordinator in Aging and social change, Ethnicity and migration, Social work and welfare law.