Cathrin Wasshede

About Cathrin Wasshede


Cathrin Wasshede is an Associate professor in sociology and works at the Department of Sociology and Work Science at the University of Gothenburg. Her dissertation, Passionate Politics: Resistance to Heteronormative Gender Power (2010) is about young leftist extra- parliamentary activists in Gothenburg and their resistance to dominating norms around gender and sexuality. Questions that are raised are: What are they resisting? What alternatives are presented? What strategies do they use? What happens when ideals are not easily transformed into practice? Wasshede shows that resistance is always practised within existing regimes and that resistance cultures involve new regimes. The passionate politics that the activists perform means that boundaries are shifted and that new possibilities arise.

During 2018-2023 Cathrin Wasshede was Deputy Head of the department.

Research areas

Cathrin Wasshedes research interests concern gender and sexuality as well as power and resistance. She has been into fields like lgbtq- and queer organizing, urban spaces, governmentality, emotions, housing, childhood, cultural artefacts, Swedish exceptionalism and decoloniality, memory work and recently also dying and death.

Current research

Since 2022 Wasshede is part of the research project ”The meaning of the parental insurance when forming an equal and fair everyday life. A question about class?"- financed by Forte.

In 2023 Wasshede started a small project about experiences of dying, death and bereavement among people in co-housing communities for second half of life.

Completed research

During 2020 Cathrin Wasshede, together with Sofia Björk, made a pilot study based on individual interviews: “Farewell in corona times – to care for close relatives and saying goodbye during restrictions due to covid-19”. The study was approved of a grant of 85 000 SEK from Adlerbertska Research Foundations. An article in Swedish was published in Sociologisk forskning 2021:

Wasshede participated in an anthology about death, where she wrote an essay about death, subjectivity and temporality. The anthology was published 2022:

The veil, rainbow flag and manga: Cultural products, transnational spaces and emerging communities. Financed by Swedish Research Council 2015-2020. The project followed three cultural products: the veil as connected to religion, the rainbow flag connected to liberalism, progression and secularism, and manga, with its references to Buddhism, Christian iconography and mythic figures as a post-secular phenomenon. The aim was to study the role of the cultural products in the construction of transnational communities of belonging that affirm, resist or transform norms around gender and sexuality. By seeing these cultural products as performative and intimately entangled in norms, emotions, other artefacts and political subjects, the project shed light on new possible communities in a multifaceted civil society. This project resulted, among other things, in a book: Pluralistic struggles in gender, sexuality and coloniality. Challenging Swedish exceptionalism. Open access: Yet another book, in Swedish, is under production and will be published during 2021.

Co-housing and sustainable urban development. Financed by Riksbankens Jubileumsfond 2015-2019. The aim of the project was to explore to what extent experiences of co-housing can contribute to the knowledge about social and ecological sustainable urban development. The project consists of four case studies about different forms of co-housing in Denmark, Germany, Spain and Sweden. In this project Wasshede focused on family life and social relations in co-housing communities. The project generated, among other things, a book: Contemporary co-housing in Europe. Towards sustainable cities? Open access:

The inner city as public sphere: Urban trabnsformation, social order and social change. Financed by Riksbankens Jubileumsfond and Formas 2010-2013. The cases studied in this project were the Freetown of Christiania in Copenhagen and Haga in Gothenburg. Cathrin Wasshede studied sustainable urban development and urban citizenship from the perspectives of gender, sexuality and family and she mainly focused on the children’s situation in Christiania, but also the queer milieu in the form of Bøssehuset. One book about Christiania was published: Space for urban alternatives? Christiania 1971-2011, free to download: Further, the following articles were published by Wasshede:

Normalization of children: Politics and images of children in the Freetown of Christiania

The Child of the Common: Governing Children in the Freetown Christiania, Denmark

Børnemagt/children's power in the Freetown of Christiania: citizenship, agency and vulnerability

Teaching and tutoring

Cathrin Wasshede’s special competence in teaching and supervising is within feminist theory, queer theory, power and resistance as well as postcolonial theory. She has also been teaching a lot in the Teacher Education Programmes at University of Gothenburg. Wasshede is responsible for almost all bachelor thesis courses at the department and she also teaches qualitative method. She is teaching and supervising on all levels.