Photo of Madeleine Wirzén

Madeleine Wirzén

Assistant Professor

My research concerns institutional talk and communication. I am interested in how institutional identities and communicative tasks are managed and negotiated through talk.

Talk and Institutional Interaction

In many of the welfare state's activities, conversations with clients are one of the most important tools. Social services, schools, and healthcare are areas of activity where conversations are used to achieve different goals and objectives. I am interested in how conversations develop in different contexts and in what ways people talk to perform tasks (e.g., to get information, to give advice, etc.). In my research, I examine how identities, perspectives, and norms are negotiated and developed in interaction between participants in different institutional practices.

Research Methods

In my research, I examine institutional talk empirically using conversation analytic methods. I am interested in communication and , interaction, but also in professional perspectives and discourses.

Research Project

I am currently starting a new research project that deals with investigative child interviews in social services. The project focuses on how different ideals, to make children participate and at the same time not influence the content of the conversation, are handled in practice.

In a previous research project (phd thesis), I explored how prospective adoptive parents suitability for adoptive parenthood is assessed though talk, specifically focusing on the content and organization of assessment interviews between social works and adoption applicants.

I am also involved in research projects related to young girls' participation in sports as well as research that focuses on children's interaction in preschool.


Research projects



  • 2021
    Degree of Doctor of Philosophy, Linköping University
  • 2013
    Master in Social work, Linköping University
  • 2011-2014
    Social Worker / Counsellor
  • 2011
    Bachelor in Social Worker, Linköping University,


Preparing for parenthood. Adoption assessment as an institutional process.(Project leader: Cecilia Lindgren)


Teaches at the Social Work Programme, Teachers Program and Pre-school Teacher Programme at Linkoping University. I supervise students in the Masters programme on Child Studies.