Carina Sjöholm

Senior Lecturer, Docent


Since 2004 I'm a lecture at the Department of Service Management and Service Studies. I’m a PhD at Lund University and Associate Professor in Etnology.

Research area

My research interests focus on culture, economy, media, consumption and social life, from both contemporary and historical perspectives.

Recent research project

Roots en route: heritage politics on the garden market. Financed by the Swedish Research Council (Vetenskapsrådet). Together with Katarina Saltzman.

Garden plants as well as other garden items are today circulated on a highly commercialised market with limited local connections. However, parallel to the commercial activities connected to gardening, there is also a more informal circulation, e.g. through the sharing of seeds, bulbs, cuttings and plants. Both on the commercial market and in private, informal and alternative contexts, heritage aspects are often acknowledged as a value. Just like vintage clothes or retro style furniture, ‘old’ varieties of garden plants are today often associated with ‘heritage value’ when circulated at different kinds of markets.

This project will examine the role of heritage in the exchange of e.g. plants with history, based on a critical perspective on heritage-making.

The aim of this project is to examine how cultural heritage is produced and articulated within contemporary, formal as well as informal, markets for garden-related items and services. At the intersection between garden, heritage and market crucial questions concerning contemporary ideals can be raised; questions related to the role of the past in the present, relations between people and plants, nature/culture, and the making of values. One of the central research questions is: Where, when and how is heritage articulated as a value at markets related to gardening? 

Work and tools in the garden of dreams and realization. Financed by the Swedish Research Council (Vetenskapsrådet). Together with Katarina Saltzman and Allan Gunnarsson.

Gardens and gardening is today surrounded by numerous trends and dreams. The garden is often regarded as a place for leisure and relaxation, but at the same time it puts pressure on its owner to take care of weeding, pruning and other rather strenuous tasks. Today, more than half the Swedish population lives in single houses (in Swedish: villor) and many consider the garden to be an essential part of their home. The private garden is one of the most important sites for people’s everyday interactions with nature. Research on single house gardens (villaträdgårdar) and their role in Swedish everyday life has until now been very limited. In this project we use methods of cultural analysis to interpret the contemporary Swedish middle class garden from the perspective of its owners and users. With a specific focus on work and tools in the garden, we approach the complex interactions between people, plants and other actors in the garden. We examine the interrelations and processes through which these gardens are created and recreated, used and transformed. This includes a critical examination of the dichotomies nature/culture, heritage/change, private/public and work/leisure. We are working with qualitative methods, including semi-structured interviews and ethnographic observations. Hopefully the project will provide new knowledge on the private garden, and contribute to an understanding of the great interest in gardens and gardening seen today.

Recent research outputs

Carina Sjöholm & Saltzman, K., 2018 May 24, Mitt och ditt. : Etnologiska perspektiv på ägandets kulturella betydelse. Salomonsson, K. (ed.). Lund Studies in Arts and Cultural Sciences, Vol. 17. (Lund Studies in Arts and Cultural Sciences; no. 17).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapter

Carina Sjöholm (ed.) & Magnus Jerneck (ed.), 2018, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Lunds universitet. 82 p.

Research output: Book/ReportConference proceeding (editor)

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