Doctoral Position in Sociology

University of Gothenburg Department of Sociology and Work Science

Doctoral position in Sociology, within a research project

Ref PAR 2021/148


The University of Gothenburg tackles society’s challenges with diverse knowledge. 53 500 students and 6 500 employees make the university a large and inspiring place to work and study. Strong research and attractive study programmes attract scientists and students from around the world. With new knowledge and new perspectives, the University contributes to a better future.

The Department of Sociology and Work Science has about 120 employed, teachers, researchers, PhD-students and administrative staff. The Department carries out research, education and collaboration in a number of areas. There is research in areas like labor market, working life, social deviation, digitalization, emotions, gender, migration, environmental issues, social movements, governance and organization as well as science and technology. Courses are offered in a range of fields such as sociology, work science, human resource management, criminology and social psychology. The Department also has extensive commitment to several of the University's educational programs, particularly in teacher education. Collaboration and development projects are conducted both in research and education with partners in the private and public sector for example the Centre for Global Human Resource Management (CGHRM).

In sociology, the social interaction between people is at the center as well as societal patterns or structures. Sociological theories and concepts aim to understand and explain interpersonal relationships and societal processes, based on for example structures such as class, gender and ethnicity. All parts of society constitute sociological objects of study: social interaction in small groups, within organizations, locally, nationally and globally. Sociologists are, among other things, interested, in social interaction in working life, leisure and private life, as well as within the framework of the welfare state, social movements, educational institutions. The causes and consequences of crime, political treatment of environmental issues and the use of technology in society are also sociological study objects. Sociological analyzes often provide new insights into things we have previously taken for granted.

The current position is a doctoral project within the framework of the RJ-funded research project Rape or consent? Effects of the new rape legislation on legal thinking and practice led by Åsa Wettergren (professor of sociology) with Moa Bladini (doctor of law) and Sara Uhnoo (associate professor of sociology) as participating researchers.

The doctoral project "The real rape – the application of Swedish rape laws 1965-2022" is lead by Sara Uhnoo and funded by The Swedish Crime Victim Authority (Brottsoffermyndigheten). It aims to study Swedish rape legislation and its application from the advent of the Criminal Code in 1965 to today. During the period, notions of rape have shifted from the idea that rape could not be committed within the marriage to the current assertion that mutual (in)voluntariness is the starting point for legal assessment of rape. The study is conducted from a combined feminist and sociology of emotion perspective with a focus on how rape myths - notions of gender, sexuality, the "real rape", the "real rape victim" - can be traced in legal sources and judgments and how they have changed over time. The project contributes with knowledge about the function and development of rape myths over time, where changed ideas about gender and sexuality interact with changed legislation. It also deepens the knowledge of legal challenges in rape cases as part of the invisibility of body and emotions.

Job assignments

The accepted doctoral student will write a doctoral dissertation that aims to study Swedish rape legislation and its application from the advent of the Criminal Code in 1965 to today and answer the following three questions:

  • What are the decisive shifts in the Swedish rape legislation since 1965 until present; when, how and why has they changed?
  • How has these shifts influenced legal practice and by extension notions related to rape myths as reflected in rape convictions?
  • How do legal professionals reflect on the development of rape legislation and the legal systems importance for society’s view on rape?

These questions are answered through discourse analysis of preparatory work, legal texts, newspaper articles and judgments, as well as interviews with judges, prosecutors and lawyers.

The dissertation project is reported in the form of a summary dissertation with four scientific articles in English.

The aim of the doctoral studentship is for the doctoral student to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to be able to conduct research autonomously within sociology and to contribute to the development of knowledge within the discipline through the production of a scholarly thesis. Another aim for the doctoral student is to develop an ability to apply the acquired knowledge and skills within post-degree research or other professional work.

The doctoral (third-cycle) education studies are equivalent to four year full-time and lead to a Degree of Doctor. Those appointed to doctoral studentships shall primarily devote themselves to their studies. Those appointed to doctoral studentships may, however, work to a limited extent with educational tasks, research and administration (departmental duties). Duties of this kind may not comprise more than 20 per cent of a full-time post. Departmental duties will extend the studentship by a corresponding period.

The appointed doctoral student shall be present at the Department and actively participate in research and educational activities.


To be eligible for the position, the applicant must meet both general and specific entry requirements.

Applicants meets the general entry requirements for third-cycle studies if they have obtained 1) a degree at the second-cycle level, 2) at least 240 higher education credits, of which at least 60 must be at the second-cycle level or 3) largely equivalent knowledge in other ways, in Sweden or abroad.

Applicants meets the specific entry requirements if they has obtained 1) a degree at the advanced level in sociology or 2) a degree at the advanced level including a degree project focusing on sociology, sociology of law or criminology, 3) largely equivalent knowledge in Sweden or abroad will also be considered to meet specific entry requirements.


Eligible applicants will be assessed based on their ability to benefit from the doctoral study program at the Department.

We are primarily looking for a doctoral student with competence in sociology of law or criminology. Knowledge in sociology of emotions and/or feminist theory and/or law/criminal law is an advantage. Experience of discourse analytical methods (eg critical discourse analysis) and qualitative interview method is also an advantage.

For this employment, besides good knowledge of English, proficiency in Swedish is a requirement as the collected data is in Swedish.

To this end, applicants must submit the following documents:

-Papers, degree projects and other relevant works (maximum two texts), which will be assessed on in terms of ability to formulate scientific problem and purpose, previous research and choice of theoretical perspectives, methodology and implementation, theory integration, interpretation and conclusions as well as academic and linguistic presentation. In the case of co-authored texts, an account of the division of labor must be provided.

-A project draft of a maximum of 2000 words in which the applicant states research interest in relation to specified tasks, summarizes previous research and addresses possible theoretical perspectives and concepts of relevance to the project. The draft should also provide suggestions on the order and by which methods the project research questions can be answered, as well as roughly estimate the time required for each (full-time work). The project plan is assessed on the basis of the following quality criteria: scientific relevance, demonstrated familiarity with a scientific approach, knowledge of previous and current research, insight into theories and methods within the framework of the project and postgraduate education.

As postgraduate studies in sociology are very demanding, the applicant must be strongly motivated and have the ability to work independently within given time frames. Good co-operation and communication skills are also a requirement, as well as good knowledge of English in both speech and writing.

Letters of recommendation are not taken into account, but references to, for example, previous employers can advantageously be stated in the application.


The employment is a fixed-term employment, limited to 4 years, and is carried out on a full-time basis unless there are acceptable reasons to the contrary (minimum 50%). The position may include departmental duties corresponding up to 20% of a full-time post over the course of study. If such tasks are required, the duration of the appointment will be extended accordingly. Regulations on the employment as a doctoral student are given in ordinance SFS 1993:100.

The position is expected to be filled in mid-September 2021. The position is until further notice located at the Department of Sociology and Work Science.

The university applies local agreements on salary setting for doctoral students.

Appointment procedure

As part of the appointment procedure top-ranked candidates will be interviewed.

For further information regarding the position

For information on the research project and work, please contact PI Sara Uhnoo,, +46 31 786 4788

For information on the education program/employment, please contact Cecilia Hansen Löfstrand, coordinator of third-cycle program,, +46 31 786 4766

For information on the application procedure/admittance process, please contact human resource officer Anna Karin Wiberg,, +46 31 786 4761


Union representatives at the University of Gothenburg:

Information for International Applicants

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How to apply

In order to apply for a position at the University of Gothenburg, you have to register an account in our online recruitment system. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that the application is complete in accordance with the instructions in the job advertisement, and that it is submitted before the deadline. The selection of candidates is made on the basis of the qualifications registered in the application.

The application shall consist of, above mentioned, papers, degree projects and other relevant works (maximum two works), a project draft and verified copies of academic transcripts and evidence of other relevant qualifications. The application may include a brief cover letter where the applicants state their motivations for applying to the position.

Last day of application: 2021-04 22

In connection to this recruitment, we have already decided which recruitment channels we should use. We therefore decline further contact with vendors, recruitment and staffing companies.