Teres Hjärpe

Teres Hjärpe

Senior lecturer

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Personal profile


My research mainly concearns social workers' prerequisites, challenges and strategies within the social services- seen as an example of a Human Service Organization in modernization transformation. In January 2020 I defended my thesis "Measurement and resistance- governing social workers by numbers" at the School of Social Work, Lund university. During 2023 and 2024 I will mainly work in three research projects - one about decision making regarding children and foster- or institutional care (in collaboration with FoU Sjuhärad/HiB), and two on professional strategies and digitalization in social services (financed by Forte and Helsingborg municipality). From 2021 through 2023 I a have been coordinating the Faculty of Social Science's initiative to encourage research on social resilience. In 2023, 2024 and 2025 I will collaborate with universities in Spain, Italy and Sweden in the EU-funded Marie Curie- project Global Answer to identify good practices of receiving refugees within the European Union. Together with Professor Mimi Abramovitz at the Silberman School of Social Work in New York I run a smaller project in social workers' resistance strategies in relation to managerialism in Human Service Organisations.

Areas of interest for my research concern professional autonomy and the role of documentation, statistics and administrative logics in social work. My doctoral thesis was based on material gathered during the research project "Forms and paper work - expanding record-keeping practices in social services and health care." The project was led by Katarina Jacobsson and Elizabeth Martinell Barfoed. While conducting ethnographic fieldwork connected to a management team in the social services, reflections arouse around the merits and limitations of measuring and documentationactivities when it comes to a field such as social work.

Previously I have been engaged in the research project "Welfare Services and increased freedom of choice - the example of secondary school" led by Torbjörn Hjort and Alexandru Panican. School principals and counselors were interviewedabout their views on and their own role in the changing upper secondary schoolsystem. Publications from the project are listed below.

Professional work

My practical experience of social work comes from working with different kinds of disabilities in residential care homes and in other branches of health care. I am currently on leave from my duties as international coordinator at the School of Social Work to pursure my doctoral degree.

UKÄ subject classification

  • Social Work


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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