Ann Runfors

Ann Runfors

Associate Professor

Senior Lecturer

My current research concerns off-spring of polish migrants in Sweden. I also coordinate the advance level education at HSS.

+46 8 608 44 59 +4686084459

Historical and Contemporary Studies


I am Associate Professor at the School of Historical and Contemporary Studies at Södertörn University. My fields of research are migration, education, welfare, transnationalism, youth and ethnographic approaches - with a special focus on issues relating to the structuration of everyday life in a globalised world, social positioning, intertextuality, identification, ethnification and racialization.

I have conducted research since the late 1980ies, including a number of projects that investigated how employees in welfare institutions - such as social care, pre-school and primary and secondary schools - dealt with issues relating to immigration and diversity in their work. I received my PhD in Ethnology from Stockholm University in 2003, with a thesis titled Diversity, Oppositions and Marginalizations - a study of how immigrantness is formed in school. This is an ethnographic study of public schools in multi-ethnic Swedish urban spaces and analyses diversity management and unintentional marginalisation processes in these formal education settings. In addition to the thesis a number of articles was published.

My postdoctoral research includes the projects Social positioning among youth in stigmatised urban spaces (funded by the Swedish Research Council) and Globalisation, welfare institutions and life choices for the young (funded by the Swedish Council for Working Life and Social Research). These projects investigated life strategies, self-positioning and identity building among youths in stigmatised urban spaces in contemporary Sweden - most of them children of migrants. They resulted in a book, Toleransens intoleranta baksida (The intolerant downside of tolerance), as well as a number of articles - the latest one being What an ethnic lens can conceal: The emergence of a shared racialised identity position among young descendants of migrants in Sweden in Journal of Ethnic and Migrations Studies, 2016.

Since 2011 I hold a position as Senior Lecturer at Södertörn University, where I have been teaching and supervising in Ethnology at both graduate and postgraduate levels as well as on the degree programme in The Intercultural teacher education. Besides research I currently organise research seminars within the ethnology and coordinate the multidisciplinary parts of the Master programs at the School of Historical and Contemporary Studies.

During 20015 - 2018 I have be in lead of two research projects. The first one is Mobile Welfare in a Transnational Europe: An Analysis of Portability Regimes of Social Security Rights, TRANSWEL (funded by NORFACE). This is a large scale, international project concerning transnational intra EU welfare management and its conditions, where I have been the head of the Swedish research team. TRANSWEL examines and compares eight EU member states with regards to welfare regulations and discourses of welfare belonging that might encourage or discourage welfare access and portability but also with regards to mobile EU citizens own experiences of transnational welfare management, The second project is What your DNA sequence does not tell you - Identifying parameters for the communication of genetic information on rare diseases (KISh). This is a medical humanities project in cooperation with natural scientist at Karolinska Institutet, taking interest in the information challenges arising from the fast development of DNA sequencing technologies and studying professionals view on different ways of communicating genetic information as well as patients perceptions and management of genetic information.

Currently I am in lead of a new project on life strategies and identity building among youth: Transnationalism and belonging in the Baltic Sea region among descendants of Polish migrants in Sweden (funded by Baltic Sea Foundation, 2018-2021). The project takes interest in young who grew up as children to Polish migrants in Stockholm and examines how they construct place, belonging and transnational connections in the Baltic sea region.



  1. Runfors, Ann. Toleransens intoleranta baksida. 18 svenska ungdomars verklighet. Stockholm: Forum för levande historia.
  2. Runfors, Ann. Mångfald, motsägelser och marginaliseringar. En studie av hur invandrarskap formas i skolan. Stockholm: Prisma. (Diss).
  3. Ronström Owe, Runfors Ann och Karin Wahlström. "Det här är ett svenskt dagis" - en etnologisk studie av dagiskultur och kulturmöten i norra Botkyrka. Tumba: Invandrarminnesarkivet, serie A:12.
  4. Runfors, Ann. "För barnens bästa" - Lärarperspektiv på andraspråksinlärning. Tumba: Invandrarminnesarkivet, serie R:5.
  5. Lövgren Karin och Ann Runfors. Exotiskt eller oetiskt? - Vårdpersonal talar om sitt arbete med invandrarpatienter. Tumba: Invandrarminnesarkivet, serie D:2.
  6. Runfors, Ann. "Här gör vi generatorer" - arbete, tradition och förändring på ABB Generation. Västerås: Västmanland läns museum.

Peer-reviewed Edited Volumes

  1. 2019. Boundaries of European Social Citizenship – EU Citizens’ Transnational Social Security in Regulations, Discourses and Experiences .Eds: Amelina, Anna, Emma Carmel, Ann Runfors & Elisabeth Scheibelhof. Routhledge: London & New York. Link to Routhledge External link..

Edited Volumes (other)

  1. 1996 Sjögren, Annick, Ann Runfors & Ingrid Ramberg (Eds.). En "bra" svenska? Om språk, kultur och makt. Botkyrka: Mångkulturellt centrum.
  2. Ramberg, Klas och Ann Runfors. (Eds.). Bildning och nöje – Om IOGT- och ABF-bibliotekariers erfarenheter. Stockholm: Nordiska Museet.
  3. Runfors, Ann (red). "Utan städare stannar Sverige". Stockholm: Nordiska Museet.

Peer-reviewed Special Issues

  1. 2019 (Planned submission to Global Network). Transnational Social Protection Beyond the Liberal Paradox .Eds: Amelina, Anna, Emma Carmel, Ann Runfors & Elisabeth Scheibelhof.

Peer-review Articles and Book chapters

  1. 2019. Runfors, Ann and Florence Fröhlig. Discourses of Belonging in the Context of EU enlargements. A Comparative analysis of Discursive Deservingness in EU Transnational Social Security. Eds: Amelina, Anna, Emma Carmel, Ann Runfors & Elisabeth Scheibelhof. In: Boundaries of European Social Citizenship: EU Citizens’ Transnational Social Security in Regulations, Discourses and Experiences. Routhledge: London & New York.
  1. 2019. Florence Fröhlig, Maarja Saar and Ann Runfors. Business contract meets social contract: Estonians in Sweden and their transnational welfare opportunities. Eds: Amelina, Anna, Emma Carmel, Ann Runfors & Elisabeth Scheibelhof. In: Boundaries of European Social Citizenship: EU Citizens’ Transnational Social Security in Regulations, Discourses and Experiences. Routhledge: London & New York.
  2. 2019 (Planned submittion to Global network). Runfors, Ann Maarja Saar, Florence Fröhlig. Fantasies on Social tourism's within the EU. Part of the special issue Transnational Social Protection Beyond the Liberal Paradox. Eds: Amelina, Anna, Emma Carmel, Ann Runfors & Elisabeth Scheibelhof.
  3. Runfors, Ann. Struktureringsteorin. In: Tillämpad kulturteori - Introduktion för etnologer och andra kulturvetare. Gunnarsson Payne, Jenny & Öhlander, Magnus (Eds.) Studentlitteratur AB. S. 115-132.
  4. Runfors, Ann. What an ethnic lens can conceal: The emergence of a shared racialised identity position among young descendants of migrants in Sweden. Journal of Ethnic and Migrations Studies. Volume 42:11, p 1846-1863, DOI: 10.1080/1369183X.2016.1153414 External link..
  5. Runfors, Ann. Modersmålssvenskar och vi andra – Ungas språk och identifikationer i ljuset av nynationalism. In: Utbildning och demokrati: tidskrift för didaktik och utbildningspolitik. Uppsala universitet, Centrum för didaktik, vol 2, 2009. S. 105-126.
  6. Runfors, Ann. Avoiding Culture and Practicing Culturalism. Labelling practices and paradoxes in Swedish schools. In: Paradoxes of cultural recognition. Eds: Alghasi, Sharam, Thomas Hylland Eriksen & Halle Gorashi. Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing.
  7. Runfors Ann och Annick Sjögren. Language, Dominance and Resistance. An Etnological Perspectiv on Teaching and Learning in an Immigrant Environment in Sweden. In: Migration – A European Journal of International Migration and Ethnic Relations. 23-24/94. Berlin: Edition Parabolis.

Articles and book chapters (other)

  1. Saar, Maarja, Florence Fröhlig and Ann Runfors. Welfare negotiations Among Estonians working in Sweden. Experiences, Barriers and Narrated coping strategies. Welfare State Future working paper Transwel serie #1 /2018. University of Södertörn, Sweden.
  2. Runfors, Ann, Florence Fröhlig and Maarja Saar. 2016. Welfare State Future Transwel policy brief #3. March 2016. External link.
  3. Fröhlig, Florence, Ann Runfors and Bozena Sojka. Exploring subtle mechanisms in discourses of belonging by combining the Logics approach with Critical discourse analysis. Welfare State Future working paper Transwel serie #2 /2016. University of Södertörn, Sweden.
  4. Fröhlig, Florence, Maarja Saar and Ann Runfors. Swedish and Estonian Discourses on Free EU-movement, Welfare and Belonging. Welfare State Future working paper Transwel serie #3 /2016. University of Södertörn, Sweden.
  5. 2015. Runfors, Ann. Transwel Working paper serie 2015. Discourses of belonging affecting portability. University of Södertörn. External link..
  6. Runfors, Ann. Politik, policy och praktik. In: Nationell förskola med mångkulturellt uppdrag. Björk-Willén, Polly Grüber, Sabine & Puskas, Tünde (Eds.), Liber förlag: Stockholm.
  7. Runfors, Ann. In Dialogue with Devaluation. Young people’s life choices as social positioning practices. In: Thinking with Beverly Skeggs. Olsson, Annika (ed,). The Centre for Gender Studies, Skriftserien Nr 42, Stockholm.
  8. Runfors, Ann. Fostran till frihet? Värdeladdade visioner, positionerade praktiker och diskriminerande ordningar. In: Utbildningens dilemma. Sawyer, Lena (ed.). Rapport från integrationspolitiska maktutredningens forskningsprogram: SOU 2006:40. (Statens offentliga utredningar. Justitiedepartementet).
  9. Runfors, Ann. Fängslande frihet. Paradoxer och dilemman i den moderna frihetsvisionen. In: Orienten i Sverige. Samtida möten och gränssnitt. Ekström, Simon & Lena Gerholm (Eds.). Lund: Studentlitteratur.
  10. Runfors, Ann. "När blir man svensk?". Om hur skilda möjligheter skapas i skolvardagens samspel. In: Kunskap för integration. Om makt i skola och utbildning i mångfaldens Sverige. Borevi, Karin & Per Strömblad (Eds.). Integrationspolitiska maktutredningen: SOU 2004:33
  1. Runfors, Ann. Lära sig bli invandrare? Globala och transnationella mönster i nationella former? In: Kulturella perspektiv nr 3, 2004.
  2. Runfors, Ann. Etnologin i samtiden och samtiden i etnologin: om tolkningar och deras spiralitet. IN: Kritisk etnologi. Blehr, Barbro (Eds.). Stockholm: Prisma.
  3. Kaijser, Lars och Ann Runfors 1999. Diskurs & erfarenhet – en kommentar. In: Kulturella Perspektiv, nr 3.
  4. Runfors, Ann. Att förvandla rövare till änglar. Om lärarna, mångfalden och välfärden. IN: Verktygslådan. Kulturvetenskapliga perspektiv på arbete och yrkesliv. Jansson, Sören (Eds.). Stockholm: Carlsons.
  5. Runfors, Ann. Integration as a Language Issue. Processes of Inclusion and Exclusion in Swedish Suburban Schools. In: Language and Environment. A Cultural Approach to Education for Minority and Immigrant Children Students. Sjögren, Annick (ed.). Botkyrka: Mångkulturellt centrum.
  6. 1996a. Runfors, Ann. Etnicitet som ideologi. IN: Boja eller befrielse? Etnicitetsforskningens inriktning och konsekvenser. Arnstberg, Karl-Olov (Eds.). Botkyrka: Mångkulturellt centrum.
  7. Runfors, Ann. Skolan mångfalden och jämlikheten. En diskussion om strukturerande principer vid hantering av olikhet. In: En "bra" svenska? Om språk, kultur och makt. Sjögren Annick, Ann Runfors & Ingrid Ramberg (Eds.). Botkyrka: Mångkulturellt centrum.
  8. 1996 Runfors Ann och Annick Sjögren. Introduktion. In: En "bra" svenska? Om språk, kultur och makt. Sjögren Annick, Ann Runfors & Ingrid Ramberg (Eds.). Botkyrka: Mångkulturellt centrum.
  9. Ronström, Owe, Ann Runfors & Karin Wahlström, "En svensk tiger" – eller "Det tydliggjorda kulturmötet": kulturmöten i barnomsorgen i norra Botkyrka. In: Invandrarpolitiska kommittén: Sverige, framtiden och mångfalden. SOU 1996:55. Bil. [B]. Stockholm: Fritze, 1996. S.47-55.
  10. Runfors, Ann. Inledning. IN: "Utan städare stannar Sverige". Stockholm: Nordiska Museet.

Articles (popular)

  1. Runfors, Ann. Att ges plats och att ta plats: om kulturaliserade urbana rum, unga män och konstruktion av hemhörighet. In: Andra Stockholm – Liv, plats och identitet i storstaden. Larsson, Bo och Svensson, Birgitta (Eds.) Stockholm: Stockholmia förlag.
  2. Runfors, Ann. Icke-svensk elev lär sig sin plats (för artikelserien Det nya folkhemmet) Svenska Dagbladet 070605.
  3. Runfors, Ann. Mångfald på minerad terräng. In: Pedagogiska Magasinet, nr 3/2004.
  4. Runfors, Ann. Balansakter i vårdvardagen. In: STING (Stockholms läns landstings tidning) nr 7/1994, SPRI.
  5. Runfors, Ann. Exotiskt eller oetiskt? In: Vård, dec 1993, SPRI.
  6. Runfors, Ann. Som man frågar får man svar. In: Samdok-bullentinen, nr4/92, Nordiska Museet.
  7. Runfors, Ann 1992. Exotiskt eller oetiskt? In: Minoriteter och åldrande – en engångsskrift om äldre invandrare, maj 1992. Stockholm: Stockholms socialförvaltning, FOU-byrån.
  8. Runfors, Ann. Bland jättelika maskiner och engagerade människor. In: Samdok-bulletinen, nr 46/1989, Nordiska Museet.


  1. Runfors, Ann 2005. Kristina Gustafsson: Muslimsk skola, svenska villkor - konflikt, identitet och förhandling (Lund: Borea förlag, 2004) anmäld av Ann Runfors. In: Rig: kulturhistorisk tidskrift, Föreningen för svensk kulturhistoria, nr 4, 2005
  2. Runfors, Ann 1997a. Pirjo Lahdenperä: Invandrarbakgrund eller skolsvårigheter? Recenserad av Ann Runfors. IN: Invandrare & Minoriteter, nr 4, 1997.

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