Jonna Arousell

Affiliated Researcher at Department of Women's and Children's Health, International Maternal and Child Health (IMCH); International Maternal and Reproductive Health and Migration

Visiting address:
MTC-huset, Dag Hammarskjölds väg 14B, 2 tr
752 37 Uppsala
Postal address:
Akademiska sjukhuset
751 85 UPPSALA

Short presentation

I have a B.Sc. in social work and a B.Sc. in international law. I also have a M.Sc. in social work, and a Ph.D. in medical science within the field of sexual and reproductive health and rights.

Sacred ideals: Diversity and equality in Swedish reproductive healthcare

In my Ph.D. project, I explored encounters between different actors in the Swedish reproductive healthcare system. I conducted interviews and focus group discussions with healthcare providers in reproductive healthcare settings, with individuals who identified as female Muslims, and with religious counsellors being affiliated with Swedish healthcare institutions. In the analysis, which was influenced by Michel Foucault’s ideas about governmentality and Carol Bacchi’s ‘What’s the Problem Represented to be’ approach, I sought to explore how ideas about diversity on the one hand, and equality and gender equality on the other, interfere with practical welfare work. I was curious to understand how actors in the Swedish healthcare system, with its deeply rooted ideas about gender equality, equity and equal care for everyone, manage to navigate the co-existing desire to accommodate the delivery of care to a diversity of religious and cultural practices and beliefs. I found that when these ideals interfere with practical everyday healthcare provision, it appears difficult to give these ideals equal weight, at all times.


Birgitta Essén
Aje Carlbom, Malmö högskola
Sara Johnsdotter, Malmö högskola

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Jonna Arousell