Helena Sandberg

Helena Sandberg

Senior Lecturer, Associate professor, PhD in Media and Communication Studies

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Helena Sandberg is a researcher in media and communication studies, trained in the social sciences and in the humanities. Her work is oriented towards interdisciplinarity and multi-methodological approaches, and she has been internationally active since her early postdoctoral years. Helena is currently Associate Professor and Senior lecturer at Lund University, she is also serving as Professor (affiliated) in Media and Communication Studies at Halmstad University, School of Health and Welfare. She has an expertise in digital media, children and everyday life, as well as in digital technology, media and health.

She is currently leading a four year research initative DIGIKIDS Sweden (2019-2023), funded by the Swedish Research Council (dnr 2018-01261). The project is a research collaboration between Lund, Malmö and Halmstad Universities. She is also leading the project Demography and Democracy - Healthy ageing in a digital world (2022-2025), within the Research program Future Challenges in the Nordics, with funding from the Kamprad Family Foundation.

She is the former goup leader of CAI@LU (2010-2017), Children, advertising and internet at Lund university, investigating children’s exposure to and understanding of online advertising, with funding from the Crafoord Foundation and the Swedish Research Council.


Brief description of the DIGIKIDS project:

The aim of the project is to gain new insights into the ways in which digital technology inform and permeate the everyday lives of children, 0-3 yrs. old. The project will investigate their digital media appropriation, practices and agency as well as parental mediation strategies, to advance our understanding of their implications on childhood and family life. Furthermore, the project highlight the status of childrens’ early digital literacy skills, thereby also identifying implications for policy in relation to education, parenting, and the media industry. The project will make empirical and analytical contributions to two strands of research: the domestication of technology research, and theories on parental mediation. The project proposes a qualitative in-depth, and contextualized approach, focusing on 20 children and their families in a time-condensed ethnography, inspired by the well-researched ‘A Day in the life’ methodology, involving three visits in each family, and the construction of a thick set of data through interviews, survey, observations and video-recording the children in the domestic sphere.


Sandberg also holds extensive expertise in media and health, and the role media play in people’s health development and their everyday life. She has been an adviser to and done commissioned research for the Public Health Agency of Sweden, The National Food Agency, and The Swedish Consumer Agency. In her research she has investigated topics related to health and illness in various media; eg donor campaigns, HIV preventive work among immigrants, news coverage of obesity, online reporting of the swine flu, food advertising, blogs on health, and parental magazines. In 2009, Sandberg was a Visiting Scholar at the Department of Health, Behavior and Society, at Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, USA.  She collaborates with researchers at the former Nordic school of public health, and contributed in 2014 to a Nordic book on Health literacy (2014; 2020 rev 2nd ed). She was a research fellow at the Pufendorf institute, 2015-2016, and coordinator of a cross-disciplinary research theme on e-health, including more than 30 senior and junior researchers from five faculties. The theme became the springboard for the successful ehealth@lu network and collaborative platform on the digitalisation of health and medical care.

Sandberg was a member of the management committee of the COST-action IS1410 'The digital literacy and multimodal practices of young children' (DigiLitEY). Funded by EU, European Cooperation in the Field of Scientific and Technical Research 2015-2019, chaired by Professor Jackie Marsh from the University of Sheffield.

Helena is an alumni of the Young Academy of Sweden (2012-2017), an interdisciplinary academy for a selection of the most prominent, younger researchers in Sweden.

She is serving on several national and international research committees, jurys, and boards (eg. The Tietgen Prize Award Committee, The Executive board of and the Research Committe (Vice Chair) for the The Foundation for Baltic and East European Studies, The Swedish-American Fulbright Commission). She is also appointed Excellent Teaching Practitioner (ETP) by the Pedagogical Academy of Social Sciences.


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