Christel Backman

Senior Lecturer

Department of Sociology and Work
Visiting address
Skanstorget 18
41123 Göteborg
Room number
Postal address
Box 720
405 30 Göteborg

About Christel Backman

CHRISTEL BACKMAN (LL.M, PhD in Sociology) has been with the department since 2006. Her research examines issues on deviation, social control, surveillance and human resource management. Backman completed her doctoral thesis ’Criminal Records in Sweden. The Regulation of Access to Criminal Records and the Use of Criminal Background Checks by Employers’ in March 2012. The thesis was awarded as the ”Best HR-research 2012”.

Specialist fields

  • Sociology of Law
  • Surveillance Studies
  • Human Resource
  • Social Control

Current research Employers' use of information seeking on the Internet in the recruitment process, and its consequences for organizations and jobseekers on the Swedish labour market. Over the past years it has become increasingly more common for employers to check up job-seekers online, using a search engine, specific databases or social media. In this way employers may add information about specific parts of the job-seeker’s past, such as criminal records, or try to capture the job-seeker’s “data double”. Previous research on online behaviour in general and social media in particular, has focused on the data subjects online action, how privacy settings are used and if online behaviour is modified due to potential data gathering by outsiders. In this project we turn our attention to the ones who gather this type of data and use it as access control for employment. Our aim is to examine how employers interpret the data they find and to what extent it influences the recruitment process and the decision to hire or not hire a candidate.

Descriptions of occupations for career guidance – a matter of the free choice of the individual or the differentiation of the labour force? In this project we analyse a large number of occupational descriptions, published on the Swedish Public Employment Service’s website, to see how these descriptions are formulated and structured. Our aim is to illuminate what aspects of knowledge and personal qualities that is described as necessary or positive in various occupations, and if the descriptions differ depending on factors such as occupational prestige and gender. Furthermore, the study will show how these descriptions – and the occupations portrayed – are perceived by young adults and to what extent the material is used by career counsellors in Sweden.

Teaching and tutoring Christel Backman lectures on criminology, victimology, socio-legal studies, surveillance studies, theory of science and qualitative methods, and supervises undergraduate students.

Miscellaneous Christel Backman coordinates the research network ”Surveillance & Scandinavian Exceptionalism”, funded by The Swedish Foundation for Humanities and Social Science (RJ).

She is a member of the Surveillance Studies Network.

She is coordinator of the 'Narrative Analysis Group' in the department, and is a member of the Department's Research Group in Criminology and Sociology of Law