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Peter Holmqvist

Associate Professor, Head of Unit

My research concerns the history of the psychological and psychiatric sciences in Sweden. I am particularly interested in studying how these disciplines have affected our understanding of children, childhood and children’s development.

What is a child? 

Conceptions regarding what a child is, their development and how they should be raised have varied over the centuries. My research focuses on how scientific disciplines, primarily psychology and psychiatry, have contributed to the creation and perpetuation of normative notions and practices concerning children and childhood.

My dissertation is part of a project studying how child psychological and psychiatric knowledge has been conveyed by Swedish mass media during the latter half of the 20th century and what beliefs and ideas regarding children and youth that have been presented to readers, listeners and viewers.

I focus on how different historical periods have understood what a child is and through which theoretical outlooks, how one should care for it, what has been presumed to be a ‘normal’ development, which problems that may occur and how these should be solved. I have also studied the history of the Swedish profession of psychology and its interaction with Swedish society.

Furthermore, I have a keen interest in methodological issues and my research draws upon advances and approaches within the fields of Science and Technology Studies as well as postconstructionism. 



Peter Holmqvist (2024) Book Review: Affect, Alienation, and Politics in Therapeutic Culture: Capitalism on the Skin by Suvi Salmenniemi Acta Sociologica Continue to DOI


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


Sofia Littmarck, Peter Skagius, Karin Zetterqvist Nelson (2020) Autismens historia [The history of autism] -: en internationell forskningsöversikt [an international research overview] Scandia, Vol. 86, p. 101-118 Continue to DOI
Peter Skagius, Karin Zetterqvist Nelson (2020) Den konstanta oron [The constant anxiety]: Barns och ungas psykiska ohälsa i svensk dagspress 1968-2008 [Child and young peoples mental illness in the Swedish daily press 1968-2008] Scandia, Vol. 86, p. 32-59
Peter Skagius (2020) "Don't worry": Figurations of the child in a Swedish parenting advice column. History of Psychology, Vol. 23, p. 154-175 Continue to DOI


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