I’m currently a PhD student at the unit for Epidemiology and Global Health at Umeå University in Sweden but I’m also affiliated with the Umeå Centre for Gender Studies. My background is within gender studies, political science and global health. The overall aim of my doctoral thesis is to explore and understand how teenagers involved in various civic organizations and leisure activities (both online and offline) develop a collective capacity to influence their mental health. This ethnographic study, based on participatory observations and photo elicitation explores teens’ own perspectives, meanings and experiences on how social processes in the context of civic spaces influence social factors of youth mental health such as stress and achievement pressure. These social factors are shaped by intersecting social positions and power relations in terms of class, ethnicity, gender, dis/ability, rural/urban location and so on.
Since my BSc degree, I’ve been interested in emancipatory research and above all, how to actually put it into practice! Many projects start out with high expectations on participation and co-production, but due to different reasons (time, money etc.) it ends up as more of a ‘smash-n-grab’ experience. However, I take a rather critical stance towards concepts as empowerment and emancipation, especially within the many Photovoice and photo elicitation studies, since we need to be careful in defining empowerment and if/how participants have been empowered or not. Apart from learning more about visually focused research, I see the IVSA as an excellent network to discuss some of these ethical and methodological questions.