Malmö University Publications
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  • Public defence: 2024-04-19 10:00 Niagara hörsal C, NI:C0E11, Malmö
    Palm, Camilla
    Malmö University, Faculty of Health and Society (HS), Department of Social Work (SA). Malmö University, Centre for Sexology and Sexuality Studies (CSS).
    Navigating Conflicting Norms on Body and Sexuality: Exploring Swedish-Somali Women's and Swedish Welfare Workers' Perceptions of Female Genital Cutting2024Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Female genital cutting (FGC), sometimes referred to as female genital mutilation, is the subject of intense debate, exposing tensions between varying cultural values about bodies and sexuality. In Sweden, FGC is framed as a social problem designed to control female sexuality, and national efforts have long aimed to prevent it from being perpetuated. Welfare workers have a key role in interpreting and implementing FGC politics, making the welfare encounter a site where sometimes divergent cultural understandings about FGC, bodies, and sexuality converge.

    In this thesis, I explore how sexuality and sexual health are constructed in relation to FGC through welfare work and from the perspectives of different generations of Somali women in the Swedish setting of immigration. Based on individual interviews (16) and focus groups (3) with welfare workers (24) in social care, healthcare, and education, I investigate how FGC, sexuality, and sexual health, is approached in counseling and information targeting young women potentially affected by FGC. Through individual interviews (12) and focus groups (9) with Swedish-Somali women of different generations (53), I examine how women relate to and make sense of their own FGC experiences in light of changing social norms and discourse of FGC post-migration to Sweden. I discuss how concepts of FGC, body, sexuality, and sexual health are navigated and negotiated by investigating meanings ascribed to FGC by the various actors. I also consider the ways in which the understandings of these notions are changing depending on a complex interchange between individual experience, social interaction, and global discourse on FGC.

    The thesis consists of four papers. The first two papers explore the complexity of how to counsel and address FGC in welfare encounters while having a difficult dual role – working to protect future generations from the practice, while simultaneously encouraging and empowering those for whom it has already been done, without undermining body image or sense of sexual capacity. The first paper found that a key problem is the over-reliance on medical models of sexuality that tend to result in a reductionist focus on the genitals for sexual function, perhaps under-emphasizing the role of the mind, emotions, and sociocultural factors. This approach often led welfare workers to conclude that FGC inevitably negatively interferes with sexuality and sexual health. It was also primarily within a biomedical discourse that solutions and strategies to promote young women’s sexual wellbeing were sought.

    The second paper investigate how welfare workers understand and respond to health discourse about FGC, using counseling on menstrual pain as an empirical example. The study found that welfare workers navigate their various sources of knowledge, where acquired FGC-knowledge worked as a lens through which young women’s situations were understood. Medical discourse, and menstrual pain in particular, was also used as a starting point for discussing drawbacks of FGC, in order to deter young women from forwarding the practices to future generations.

    The third paper highlights how women navigate dominating discourse of FGC in their efforts to make sense of their experiences. The study found that imageries and dominant framings of FGC affect how women are perceived by others, or how they expect others to perceive them, also affecting women’s selfunderstanding. Women “talked back” to and talked through expected categorizations and elements of dominant discourse that put women with FGC in a stigmatized position. Doing this, they reinforced categorizations of the most extensive form of FGC (type III, pharaonic cutting) as stigmatized and harmful, while less extensive forms of FGC (type I-II, IV, sunna cutting) were disconnected from some of the stigma attached to FGC.

    The fourth paper examines subjective experiences and perceptions of sexuality in relation to FGC. The study found that while FGC has been seen as a means to mold a tempered female sexuality in line with cultural standards for proper gendered behavior, both gender standards and means to achieve them have changed under influence of migration and global FGC politics. The findings suggest that while premarital virginity remains as an important value, the external regulation of sexuality through FGC to protect female chastity has been replaced by increased emphasis on inner control and self-discipline. Women disqualified previous rationales for the practice by unsettling the connection of FGC to reduced sexual responsiveness. Many described sexual responsiveness as inherent and not necessarily adversely affected by FGC, although experiences varied. While most expressed positive expectations on sexual desire and pleasure, emerging was also more mixed understandings among some older and younger women. These were associated with notions of the clitoris as significant for sexual responsiveness, causing women to question their bodily and sexual adequacy. Such understandings shall be seen in light of previous cultural ideas about FGC as contributing to reduced sexual responsiveness, which is reinforced in the Swedish context which emphasizes the negative impact of FGC on sexuality.

    In conclusion, this thesis sheds light on the complex nature of FGC in a context of immigration, particularly highlighting FGC in relation to individual care and counseling in welfare encounters. In Sweden, FGC is framed as a social problem, shaping how women with FGC are perceived and understand themselves. Welfare workers predominantly address FGC from a health perspective, often adopting a genital reductionist approach. Medical discourse plays a dual role: empowering women through knowledge while also exerting control over their bodies, drawing boundaries of some bodies as normal, and others as pathological. Interviews with Somali women shed light on their interactions with FGCconstructs in the Swedish context, illustrating a complex interplay of sociocultural, individual, and global influences.

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    Palm dissertation
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  • Public defence: 2024-04-19 13:15 D138, Malmö
    Reljanovic Glimäng, Malin
    Malmö University, Faculty of Education and Society (LS).
    Reading the world through virtual exchange: critical interculturality and glocal awareness in English teacher education2024Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Virtual exchange (VE) is a pedagogical approach that connects learners across borders and cultures through online communication technologies. Taking a point of departure in critical social constructivism, this thesis contributes to the VE research field by presenting a collection of studies that explore the intersections of critical interculturality, global citizenship education, and online exchange in English teacher education. 

    The aim is to explore ways in which VE participants navigate online cross-cultural dialogue and intercultural experiences in projects anchored in real-world issues and connected with the United Nations sustainable development goals. Furthermore, the aim is to examine what pedagogical insights pre-service teachers can gain from participating in VE, as a learning-by-doing experience for their future profession as English teachers. This approach, developed in accordance with critical virtual exchange (CVE), involves engaging the participants in inquiry, action, and reflection, where they explore a topic from multiple perspectives, collaborate with peers from different cultural backgrounds, create tangible products that demonstrate their learning, and reflect on their own assumptions, biases, and learning processes. 

    Through action research and analysis of participants’ self-reported data and co-created artifacts, this thesis foregrounds the role of critical reflection as interconnected with and generated from the process of collaborative design. 

    The findings show that, through active participation in VEs designed with a focus on global citizenship education, pre-service teachers can gain self-awareness, professional pedagogical insights, and evoke un/relearning of that which is often taken for granted in their own (educational) cultures. While shedding light on the challenges involved in transnational online collaboration, the thesis demonstrates the transformative potential of VE in teacher education, as well as the need for further research and development of this innovative pedagogical approach as a model that pre-service teachers can transfer to school contexts and explore in their own future classrooms. In an increasingly globalized, digitally advanced, and interconnected world, VE can serve as a conduit for glocalizing the curriculum and promoting internationalization at home in teacher education programs.

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  • Public defence: 2024-05-23 13:00 NI:C0E11, Malmö
    Boothby, Hugo
    Malmö University, Faculty of Culture and Society (KS), School of Arts and Communication (K3).
    Careful Convivial Listening: Making Sound Work Apparent as Political Action2024Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Focusing on the creation and performance of sound work this doctoral thesis considers the value of listening as a site of political action. The meaning of sound work is dual; connoting both an artifact that is created and performed, a work of art, and the processes of creating sound, the work of listening. Listening is integral to the creation and performance of sound work and is defined in this thesis as an aesthetic relation generated in the in-between of hearing subject, sound and sound technology. Drawing on the philosophy of Hannah Arendt I recognize a distinction between the objective world building of work, and the transformative potential of political action. Listening and the relational qualities that listening affords are integral to the processes through which sound work can transform to become apparent as political action. In my doctoral research I consider a diversity of sound work including popular music, sound art, podcasting and contemporary experimental music. Applying an experimental media research methodology, I interrogate sound work’s potential to be made apparent as political action using a repertoire of methods drawn from ethnography, artistic research and participatory design. In this research I find that sound work’s potential to become apparent as political action is informed by both the quality of attention tendered by hearing subjects and the material affordances of sound and sound technology. Being attentive to the agencies of both human subjects and non-human objects I posit that an orientation towards careful convivial listening in the creation and performance of sound work can succeed in making political action apparent. Reflecting on the contribution that this research makes within the field of media and communication studies I recognise that sound work, careful convivial listening and experimental media exist as tools that can be applied in future research to build new knowledge and instigate transformative change.

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    Figure 5 – Audio Content - s01 ep03 Teaching Home – Samordningsnummer – 05m 43s
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    Figure 8 – Audio Content – Music for Universities full length version 47m 35s
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    Figure 10 – Audio Content – Listening with Elephant Ears recording Element Studios Gothenburg 05-10-2021 06m 58s
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    Figure 16 – Audio Content – Music for Universities short extract included with article 03m 27s
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    FIGURE 1 - Audio Content Paper IV - Listening with Elephant Ears 06m 58s Additional vocal performance by Zofia Åsenlöf Recorded live at Lund Contemporary Music Festival October 2021
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    FIGURE 2 - Audio Content Paper IV - Found Sound Journey 0m 30s
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    FIGURE 3 - Audio Content Paper IV - Listening with Elephant Ears - 01m 23s Extract from isolated Zoom recording from workshop 3
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    FIGURE 4 - Audio Content Paper IV - Pre-recorded tape content mixed by Gusten Aldenklint 06m 52s
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    FIGURE 5 - Audio Content Paper IV - Listening with Elephant Ears 06m 58s Additional vocal performance by Zofia Åsenlöf recording by Linus Andersson
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