Telephone: +46 (0)8 16 20 00
Renita Thedvall is Associate Professor in Social Anthropology. She has in different projects focused empirically on employment policy, work life and social issues. She has a particular interest in how policies are shaped and presented in the form of models, indicators and standards. Her research based in the field of policy and organisational anthropology as well as the anthropology of bureaucracy. She has conducted fieldwork in organisations such as the EU, Fairtrade International and municipal social service offices and preschools where she has studied EU bureaucrats’, standards setters’, social secretaries’ and preschool teachers’ work with developing and following policies. She has also taken an interest in the significance of the wording of policy documents for what knowledge and what values take precedence within a field.
Thedvall’s ongoing research project is named, Managing preschool the Lean way. An industrial management model enters childcare and is funded by the Swedish Research Council. The project examines the practice of making the public welfare sector Lean, with specific focus on public preschools, in the City of Stockholm. Lean, as a management ideology, traces its origins from the automotive industry and has a clear focus on efficiency, rationality and customer value. In activities relating to the public welfare sector in general and childcare in particular, other values are prevalent, such as equal treatment, education, and care. The overall purpose of the project is to investigate how cultural logics and standardization procedures, accompanied by Lean, guide practices in the public welfare sector, in particular public preschools. There are reasons to assume that tensions might arise between apparently different logics, such as the logics of care and pedagogy, on the one hand, and logics of efficiency and customer value, on the other. The project is placed at Stockholm Centre for Organizational Research (Score), Stockholm University.
- Tamm Hallström, Kristina and Renita Thedvall. Managing Administrative Reform through Language. Implementing Lean in Swedish Public Sector Organizations. Special issue ‘After NPM’ edited by Kajsa Lindberg, Barbara Czarniawska and Rolf Solli. Scandinavian Journal of Public Administration.
- Thedvall, Renita. Managing preschool the Lean way. Evaluating work processes by numbers and colours. Special issue ‘Governing by Numbers: Audit Culture Revisited’ edited by Cris Shore and Susan Wright. Social Anthropology 23(1):42-52.
- Garsten, Christina, Jessica Lindvert and Renita Thedvall (eds). Makeshift Work in a Changing Labour Market: The Swedish Model in the Post-Financial Crisis Era. Northampton MA: Edward Elgar.
- Nyqvist, Anette och Renita Thedvall. Polarization and convergence of values at the intermediary position. In Organizing Value Plurality in Markets, Susanna Alexius and Kristina Tamm Hallström (eds). Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing.
- Thedvall, Renita. Punctuated entries: doing fieldwork in policy meetings in the EU. In Organizational Anthropology. Doing ethnography in and among complex organisations, Christina Garsten and Anette Nyqvist (eds). London: Pluto Press.
- Thedvall, Renita. Negotiating impartial indicators. To put transparency into practice in the EU. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 18:2.
- Thedvall, Renita. Tillfälliga byråkratier: Mötesformens betydelse för formandet av beslutsprocessen i metaorganisationer. NOS 11(2):48-63.
- Thedvall, Renita. Rituals of Legitimation. Organising Accountability in EU Employment Policy. In Organizing Transnational Accountability. Mobilization, Tools, Challenges, Magnus Boström and Christina Garsten (eds). Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing.
- Thedvall, Renita. The EU’s Nomads. National Eurocrats in European policymaking. In Observing Government Elites: Up Close and Personal, R.A.W. Rhodes, Paul t’Hart and Milko Noordegraaf (eds). Basingstoke. Houndsmills: Palgrave.
- Thedvall, Renita. Eurocrats at Work. Negotiating Transparency in Postnational Employment Policy. Avhandling i Socialantropologi, Stockholms universitet. Stockholm Studies in Social Anthropology, 58.
- Thedvall, Renita. “Do it yourself”: Making up the Self-employed Individual at a Swedish Public Employment Office. In Learning to be Employable. New Agendas on Work, Responsibility and Learning in a Globalising World, Christina Garsten and Kerstin Jacobsson (eds). Basingstoke, Houndmills: Palgrave.
Renita Thedvall List of Publications (103 Kb)
- Riksbankens Jubileumsfond's research initiation grant for a workshop and starting a network regarding Meeting Ethnography. The workshop will take place at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst during the autumn of 2015 in co-operation with Jen Sandler. (The grant is placed at Score).
- Meeting Ethnography Network. Co-ordinated by Jen Sandler University of Massachusetts, Amherst and Renita Thedvall, Stockholm University.
- Ethnographic Research into Public Sector Reforms: an interdisciplinary research network across Denmark, the UK, and Sweden. Co-ordinator: Bagga Bjerge, Associate Professor, Centre for Alcohol and Drug Research, Aarhus University, Denmark.
- Hoping for Improvement. The Lean Model in the Swedish Public Sector, paper presented at the Reform as permanent condition. Ethnographic studies of administrative changes and reforms publication seminar organized by Bagga Bjerge, Centre for Alcohol and Drug Research, Aarhus University and Nina Holm Vohnsen, Department of Anthropology, Aarhus University, 7-8 December, Aarhus, Denmark.
- Writing Action. How to Fit Alterations into Action Plan Documents, paper presented at the panel Documenting Power in an Age of Accountability organized by Kathleen Inglis, Simon Fraser University at the AAA (American Anthropological Association) conference, 18-23 November, Denver, USA.
- Meeting to Improve: Lean[ing] Swedish Public Preschools, paper presented at the Meeting Ethnography workshop organized by Jen Sandler, University of Massachusetts Amherst and Renita Thedvall, Stockholm University 8-10 October 2015, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, USA.
- Meeting for Change: Lean[ing] Swedish Public Preschools, paper presented at the panel Meeting Ethnography: Anthropology in/of a ubiquitous policy context organized by Jen Sandler University of Massachusetts, Amherst and Renita Thedvall at the AAA (American Anthropological Association) conference, 3-7 December, Washington, USA.
- Free Commodity Exchange: Skype and Spotify and the Complexity of Market Relations written by Christina Garsten and Renita Thedvall and presented by Renita Thedvall in the theme Perspectives on markets at the Score International Conference on Organizing Markets, 16-17 October, Stockholm.
- Transparency by proxy: Knowledge, indicators, and legitimacy in market practice written by Christina Garsten and Renita Thedvall and presented by Christina Garsten in the theme The organization of legitimate markets at the Score International Conference on Organizing Markets, 16-17 October, Stockholm.
- Managing preschool the Lean way. Turning work process improvements into numbers, paper presented at the panel Governing by numbers: audit culture, rankings and the New World (Re)order organised by Cris Shore, University of Auckland, New Zeeland and Susan Wright, Århus University, Denmark at the EASA (European Association for Social Anthropology) conference, 31 July-3 August, Tallinn, Estonia.
- Meeting Ethnography workshop, 12 June, Institute for Social Science Research (ISSR), University of Massachusetts, Amherst, USA.
- Political Chocolate. Branding it fairtrade, paper presented at the panel The commodification of (almost) everything, organized by Per Ståhlberg, Södertörn University and Renita Thedvall at the SANT (Swedish Anthropological Association) conference, 3-5 April, Linköping, Sweden.
Membership on boards
- Deputy Director of Stockholm Centre for Organizational Research (Score), Stockholm University and Stockholm School of Economics.
- Member of the Board at Stockholm Centre for Organizational Research (Score), Stockholm University and Stockholm School of Economics.
- Member of the Board at the Department of Social Anthropology Stockholm University.
Service to the profession
- Director of Studies basic level, Departement of Social Anthropology, Stockholm University.
- Treasurer for Sveriges antropologförbund (SANT) until April 2014.
Lectures, seminars, teaching
- Doctoral student workshop together with Jen Sandler on Ethnographic Research in Meeting-Intensive Settings Monday, June 9-10, Institute for Social Science Research (ISSR), University of Massachusetts, Amherst, USA.
January 2, 2017
Page editor: Karin Alvarado Lönberg
Source: Department of Social Anthropology