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jp 5 ny

David Wästerfors


jp 5 ny


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David Wästerfors is a sociologist and writer with rich experience of fieldwork and analysis.

His graduate studies (and studies in journalism) took place at Lund University but also at UCLA, University of California Los Angeles, where he studied Self and Society (with Jack Katz and Jeffrey Prager) and Aesthetic Anthropology (with Maureen Mahon).

Research projects

1. Pecuniary Sensitivity in Narratives about Foster Care (funded by the Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare), with Malin Åkerström and Katarina Jacobsson,

2. Nordic returnees from war-torn Ukraine: motivations, experiences, and support needs (with Sébastien Tutenges and Susanne Boethius, funded by the Swedish Research Council), 

3. Citizens as Crime Investigators. Digital crowdsourcing in civil policing and intelligence work (with Veronika Burcar Alm and Erik Hannerz, funded by the Swedish Research Council).


Minor projects:

  • Embarrassing ethnography. Studies of awkwardness in fieldwork.
  • School sabotage. Continuing studies of school work at youth detention homes. 
  • Not so heroic: the significance of sad and absurd war narratives.

  • Seductive meetings (with Malin Åkerström, Katarina Jacobsson och Erika Andersson Cederholm), studies of the administration society.

  • Violence as concept and phenomenon.

  • Stories about the police among ethnic minority youth.

Peer reviewed articles

I have published 31 peer reviewed articles in scientific journals, of which 16 together with other researchers.

My articles can be found in for instance Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, Journal of Youth Studies, Disability & Society, Social Inclusion, Qualitative Research, Ethnography, Criminology & Criminal Justice, Critical Criminology, New Media & Society, International Criminal Justice Review, Policing & Society, European Journal of Social Work, Text & Talk, Sociological Perspectives, Sociological Focus, Statsvetenskaplig Tidskrift and Socialvetenskaplig Tidskrift

External reviewer and discussant

I have been an opponent (external reviewer and discussant) at 10 defences: Ylva Grönvall 2024 (Malmö), Christina Söderberg 2023 (Norrköping, LiU), Elisabeth Myhre Lie 2022 (Oslo), Dawan Raoof 2022 (Malmö), Kajsa Nolbeck 2022 (Gothenburg), Linda Häll (Norrköping, LiU) 2022, Lina Lundström (Stockholm) 2020, Susanne Liljeholm Hansson 2014 (Gothenburg), Lars Fynbo 2013 (Copenhagen), Sara Uhnoo 2011 (Gothenburg)

… and at the following 12 final seminars: Sanna Händén-Svensson 2023 (Lund), Emil Bernmalm 2022 (Lund), Peter Andersson 2020 (Stockholm), Richard Gäddman Johansson 2020 (Uppsala), Christopher Martin 2019 (Lund), Berit Prack 2016 (Halmstad), Ana Maria Vargas Falla 2016 (Lund), Sofia Enell 2015 (Växjö), Zulmir Bečević 2014 (Linköping), Hilma Holm 2010 (Lund), Weddig Runquist 2009 (Lund), Elizabeth Martinell Barfoed 2008 (Lund).


Field studies

I have done field studies in youth detention homes (for young people with criminal experiences) and in habilitation units and leisure activities for persons with disabilities. The studies in detention homes have revolved around conflicts, school work and violent events. I have also studied inmates and staff in prisons and crime preventers in an urban setting, as well a patients and staff in the care for traumatic brain injuries. For my dissertation I collected material from a transnational business world. I have also done "go alongs" with persons living with disabilities as they encounter accessibility troubles in their everyday life, and at the moment I'm engaged in field studies of crime case discussions on the Internet. 

As a student, I did participant observation in kindergartens and among Westerners in the Czech Republic.


I have supervised the following ten PhD students until they graduated:

  • Lars Crusefalk 2023 (supervisor),
  • Alexandra Franzén 2021 (main supervisor),
  • Matthias Abelin 2019 (supervisor), 
  • Sophia Yakhlef 2018 (supervisor),
  • Lisa Flower 2018 (supervisor),
  • Annika Capelán 2017 (supervisor), 
  • Katalin Henriksson 2016 (supervisor), 
  • Daniel Görtz 2015 (main supervisor), 
  • Goran Basic 2012 (supervisor), 
  • Tove Harnett 2010 (formally supervisor, in practice main supervisor).