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Research project "Scandinavian suspicions: A study of private investigators, sidewards surveillance, and social paranoia" looking for interns

Internship at research project at the Department of Sociology in Lund. For students of the Department’s Master programs (internship courses SOCN20 and SOCN21).

The research project “Scandinavian suspicions: A study of private investigators, sidewards surveillance, and social paranoia” is looking for interns for the autumn semester 2024.

We are surveilling each other. In contemporary societies, we are no longer just monitored by conventional Orwellian actors but increasingly also by the local shop owner, neighbors, family, friends, and foes. Suspicion, as Guittet and Brion (2017) argue, has to some extent become normalized. It has become part of everyday life and, consequently, so have ordinary people’s everyday surveillance efforts. This project goes to the heart of this development. As an empirical point of departure for doing so, it homes in on the remarkable upsurge in the use of private investigators (PIs). 

While different practices and technologies of surveillance have been the focus of many studies, scant attention has been paid to the use of PIs. The lack of attention is a missed opportunity indeed. While surveillance is often accepted as a top-down control-oriented, commercial, or even political monitoring of social life, the PI represents a more relational, "sidewards" and even intimate practice of surveillance between people. A study of Scandinavians’ private investigations will therefore not only yield insights into the concrete business of PI work and the Scandinavian suspicions that underline it; it will also serve as an exemplary case study of the growing social paranoia that governs even otherwise well-off welfare societies.

Background and qualifications

  • A knowledge of and interest in criminological, sociological and/or anthropological theory (especially but solely in relation to issues of suspicion and surveillance).
  • The ability to conduct desk research and collect relevant available documents/reports etc. in relation to the project’s interests.
  • An interest in ethnography.
  • Good communication skills.

What does the internship involve?

The internship may involve the following work tasks:

  • Desk research
  • Document collection and analysis
  • Conducting ethnography/fieldwork
  • Planning meetings/workshops/seminars
  • Help with transcribing and translating texts 
  • Discussing ideas and theories


20 weeks from September 2nd 2024 and on.


The Department of Sociology, Lund University

How to apply

Send a letter of introduction (max an A4 page), your CV and degree certificates to David Sausdal (david [dot] sausdal [at] soc [dot] lu [dot] se). Your letter of introduction should describe who you are, your goals for the internship, and what you hope to gain from the internship).

Last application date

  • April 15th, 2024

Contact information

Person responsible for the research project: David Sausdal, david [dot] sausdal [at] soc [dot] lu [dot] se (david[dot]sausdal[at]soc[dot]lu[dot]se).

If you have general questions about internships at the Department of Sociology, you are welcome to contact Britt-Marie Johansson, britt-marie [dot] johansson [at] soc [dot] lu [dot] se.