Doctoral dissertations

New doctoral dissertation: Subjects of Feminism

Kristian Sandbekk Norsted defends his dissertation Subjects of Feminism: The Production and Practice of Anxiety in A Swedish Activist Community on Friday, March 5, 2021 at 10:00 for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. Faculty examiner: Beverley Skeggs, Distinguished Professor, Sociology, Lancaster University.

Like so many others today, feminists are anxious. A number of analytical frameworks shed light on anxiety as a zeitgeist; one that that increasingly seems to structure our lives. But those frameworks don’t adequately describe or explain how anxiety unfolds among specific groups of people. 

Subjects of Feminism: The Production and Practice of Anxiety in A Swedish Activist Community explores why feminists currently are anxious. Based on thirteen months of participant observation in parts of the feminist activist community in Stockholm, the thesis discusses several salient features of contemporary feminist culture: the cultivation of safe spaces and separatist social rooms; the role and place of self-identifying feminist men within the feminist movement; how intersectionality is locally translated from an academic concept to an activist practice; and how some individual feminists engage in a specific form of class politics through their dealings with anxiety.

Based on thirteen months of participant observation in parts of the feminist activist community in Stockholm, the thesis discusses several salient features of contemporary feminist culture.

Contemporary feminism is committed to an ethos of inclusion. In the name of intersectional feminism, feminists strive to make their movement inclusive of a range of categories of people who they consider vulnerable. While this practice arguably gives a voice to people whose perspectives previously have been marginalized, it also generates anxiety: what if one says or does something that someone more vulnerable than oneself perceives as oppressive? This anxiety is amplified by social media platforms. And ultimately, the thesis argues, it is an outgrowth of the feminists’ own goal of advocating on behalf of the many subjects of feminism.

More information on the PhD defense: http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-430540