Anna Gustafsson
Anna Gustafsson


Telephone: +46 (0)8 16 15 74
Room: B674

Anna Gustafsson joined the Department of Social Anthropology as a researcher and lecturer in 2014. She holds a Bsc from the University of East London (2008) and a Phd from the University of St Andrews (2014). Currently, she is interested in exploring the intersections of gender and ageing. The Forum of Asian Studies, Stockholm University, and the Swedish Society for Anthropology and Geography (SSAG) fund her current research project looks at experiences of ageing and gender in India. Gustafsson has extensive experiences of teaching and supervision at undergraduate and graduate levels at Stockholm University and the University of St Andrews. She is also a research associate at the Centre for Cosmopolitan Studies at the University of St Andrews.

Research interests

Gustafsson’s research interests include female agency, social change, post-colonialism, the relationship between the ‘public’ and ‘private’, material culture and emotions.


Working Towards “A Production of Well-being”: An Ethnography on Craftsmanship among the Lulesámi in Norway
Gustafsson’s doctoral research focuses on the political, social and economic significances of women’s unpaid domestic craft production in Northern Norway. More specifically, it explores the ‘understudied’ domestic realms of Lulesámi women and the ways in which women have responded to colonialism and how they currently fashion post-colonial indigenous identity, family relationships and personal virtues. It engages in theoretical dialogues about women and social change, learning, the interrelationships between the ‘public’ and ‘private’ and of female agency in terms of creative capacities. 

Older Women and New Marriages: Ageing, Family and Gender in India
As the global population continues to expand, new issues, concerns and possibilities arise for consideration by academics, policy-makers and social- and health care professionals around the globe. Gustafsson’s current project contributes to a better understanding of the heterogeneous experiences of ageing and the diverse life conditions and needs of today’s elderly. Her pioneering project looks at how older Hindu women challenge conventional notions of ageing, family and gender by remarrying in later life. By foregrounding older Hindu women as subjects of agency Gustafsson challenges the tendency to overlook the power of older women in reshaping society. Furthermore, in the literature on late-life relationships there is a lack of studies outside the Global North and existing assumptions that new forms of relationships among older persons require certain social and material preconditions, such as a de-emphasis of marriage, culture of divorce and secularization. The Indian case invites a reevaluation of broader questions around ageing and agency that remain structured by an Eurocentric bias concerning a divide between the Global North and South, and contributes to wider debates around ageism. The project brings together the contemporary scholarship of India, sociological work on late-life intimacies, gender studies and anthropological approaches that highlight elder agency. 

Selected publications


  • (under review) Mother India: A reading of older women’s (a) sexuality through Sabarimala and Badhaai Ho, in Sexualities.
  • Invisible craftsmanship- Lulesámi women’s craft production at home, in Journal of Modern Craft, 12(2): 109-121.


  • ’Deltagande observation’, in Nyckelbegrepp i socialantropologin, in Björklund, U & U. Hannerz (eds.). Socialantropologiska institutionen, Stockholms universitet.
  • ’Genus’, in Nyckelbegrepp i socialantropologin, in Björklund, U & U. Hannerz (eds.). Socialantropologiska institutionen, Stockholms universitet.


  • Beauty as a Capacity: A Study of Hands-in-craft, in Bunn, S. (eds.) Anthropology and Beauty. From Aesthetics to Creativity. London: Routledge.


  • ‘Strävan efter ‘det goda livet’: Berättelser om handarbete och välbefinnande, in Bårjås, Lulesámisk populærvitenskapelig tidsskrift fra Àrran- lulesamisk senter, pp. 6-21.


  • ‘Duodje – specifik sameslöjd, samisk konst eller ett kreativt skapande? in Bårjås, Lulesámisk populærvitenskapelig tidsskrift fra Àrran- lulesamisk senter, pp. 103-108.


  • Socialantropologi I. Kultur och Samhälle: Läran om människan som social och kulturell varelse
  • Socialantropologi I. Ekonomi. Värden, resurser och miljö.
  • Socialantropologi II. Genus och Sexualitet (Gender and Sexuality)
  • Socialantropologi III. Aktuella Debatter (Current Anthropological Debates)
  • Socialantropologi III. Uppsatsförberedande kurs