Isabelle Johansson

Isabelle Johansson

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Personal profile


Isabelle became interested in research on the trade in sexual services when she worked with sex workers in Italy, on a project aimed at securing the rights of sex workers, such as access to healthcare and information on immigration and prostitution legislation.  She values applied research and collaboration between researchers and other societal actors.

Current Research

Isabelle Johansson is a PhD Candidate in Social Anthropology at Lund University. Currently, Isabelle is teaching the course "Social Anthropology and Contemporary Swedish Society (SASA23)" and supervising students in their thesis projects. She also lectures in criminology and sociology at Kristianstad University. Her dissertation “In My Secret Life – Longing, Love and Loneliness in Paid Sex” looks at paid sexual relations from the client perspective, drawing on interviews and many years of contact with Swedish men who pay for sex. In addition to sex trade-related issues, her research interests include sexuality and social norms more broadly, as well as topics such as rights, migration and human trafficking. Isabelle has been involved in several EU-funded research projects on human trafficking. Her dissertation grew out of the project ”Demand-side Measure Against Trafficking" (DemandAT) - an interdisciplinary project that examined the role of demand in relation to human trafficking and measures focusing on the demand side of human trafficking. Together with Petra Östergren, Isabelle conducted a comparative study of prostitution policy in Sweden, Germany and New Zealand. The purpose was to understand how these countries viewed the demand for sexual services and human trafficking for sexual purposes. The study was based on policy analysis and interviews with key actors. Another part of the Swedish study consisted of interviews with men who had paid for sex.


UKÄ subject classification

  • Social Anthropology


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