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4 PhD Positions in Sociology

The Department of Sociology, founded 1954, offers a lively and collaborative research environment with a strong international research profile. The department is especially competitive in the areas of demography, ethnic relations and migration, gender, family sociology, political sociology, social policy regimes, social networks and social stratification. Masters and doctoral programs offered at the department are taught in English and attract applicants from all over Europe. At present members of the department include doctoral students, post-docs and faculty from at least 15 different countries.

The department also include the Stockholm University Demography Unit (SUDA), established in 1983, an international group of scholars and doctoral students, working on many facets of population dynamics. SUDA offers the only comprehensive demographic training in Sweden, and the unit is well connected with research schools throughout the world. As an acknowledgement of SUDA’s success, demography has officially been appointed a leading research area at Stockholm University.

The Department of Sociology is hiring four PhD students: three for the below projects and a fourth for a general PhD student position in Sociology.


Additional information about the general PhD student position here.


PhD student in Sociology (A) - Ref. No. SU FV-0169-20

Project Description

The position is within the project Fragmented child law – consequences of conflicting rules on child maintenance financed by FORTE. The project is headed by Ann-Zofie Duvander and Johanna Schiratzki and has focus both on sociology and law. The main interest in the project is to investigate how child maintenance is organised when parents do not live together. When a child is living mainly with one parent, the other parent is responsible to pay maintenance. This can be done as child maintenance through a court order or a private arrangement in accordance with the Parental Code or as child maintenance support administrated by the Swedish Social Insurance Agency in accordance with the Social Insurance Act. These two legal acts are not coordinated, nor do they seem to relate to the reality of post-separation family-life. The possibilities to receive child maintenance support was severely restricted 2016. A hypothesis is that the decrease in possibilities to get child maintenance support will lead to an increase in parental conflicts and leading to economic issues becoming more dominant in custody (parental responsibility) issues.

This project aims at investigating the consequences of this amendment by focusing on the implementation by Swedish courts. We will examine court orders on child maintenance, maintenance support as well as on custody/parental responsibility and we will analyze detailed statistics on relevant court cases before and after the amendment. The analysis will be conducted both with a quantitative and qualitative approach. A sample of  3000 court orders on child maintenance, child maintenance support and custody will be studied. The period that will be covered is 2014 to 2018. As the court orders are in Swedish, excellent proficience in Swedish is required. An interest in both juridicial and sociological aspects of the child maintenance is also required.

The interdisciplinary project will relate questions on children’s maintenance to the somehow contradicting aims of the Swedish family policy, such as gender equality implying equal rights and responsibilities for care and economy among mothers and fathers, as well as a basic economic and social welfare for all families with children. These goals risk concealing gender aspects in the division of responsibility for children after a separation. The assumption of parental collaboration after separation, and the increased individual responsibility of such, also risk to negatively affect an already vulnerable group of parents, and ultimately their children. The complexity in the laws and its implementation is problematic in particular as the laws have different origin in private and public law.


PhD student in sociology (B) - Ref. No. SU FV-0170-20

Project Description

The position is part of the NORDFORSK-funded research program IntegrateYouth: Structural, cultural and social integration among youth: A multidimensional comparative project. The project studies integration of youth in five countries (Norway, Sweden, England, Germany and the Netherlands) using primarily the large-scale CILS4EU and CILS-NOR data. The project is a formal collaboration between Nuffield College (Oxford University) and the Norwegian research institute Fafo, and also includes informal collaborators at Utrecht University (Netherlands) and MZES, Mannheim University (Germany). Part of the PhD duration can be spent at Nuffield College and/or Fafo.

The successful candidate will have ample opportunity to develop and pursue a unique PhD project. Assessment of applicants will be based on quality of the research proposal and on documented ability in statistical analysis of micro-data, as well as knowledge about theories about migration, integration and youth.


PhD student in sociology (C) - Ref. No. SU FV-0172-20

Project Description

The position is part of the FORTE-funded research program MINQ (Interlocking inequalities:  A multidimensional perspective on inequality in contemporary Sweden) which is funded by a grant from Forte (Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life, and Welfare) and headed by Carina Mood, Professor of Sociology. While the project focuses on Sweden an internationally comparative aspect is an essential part of it, so international applicants are welcome.

The research will primarily consist of empirical analysis of micro-level data, and for those who wish we offer access to excellent data sources (e.g., register data, CILS4EU, the Level of Living Survey). The project includes team members from sociology, economics, psychology and demography, and we put great value on openness to perspectives from different disciplines.

The project is broad and gives ample opportunities to develop and pursue a unique PhD project. We especially encourage candidates with research ideas in the following areas:

  • Income inequality, poverty, relative deprivation
  • Inequalities in health
  • Labour market precarity
  • The level-of-living of children and youth
  • Educational inequality
  • Intergenerational transmission of advantage
  • Family issues


More information on each position as well as admission procedures at the links above.

More information
Stockholm University

If you have questions about the PhD program, please email Sunnee Billingsley, studierektorf [at]