Mattias Bengtsson

Senior Lecturer

Department of Sociology and Work
Visiting address
Skanstorget 18
41122 Göteborg
Room number
Postal address
Box 720
40530 Göteborg

About Mattias Bengtsson

MATTIAS BENGTSSON is Associate Professor of Sociology. He received his PhD in sociology from the University of Gothenburg in 2008 with the dissertation ‘The individual is clocking in: A sociological illumination of work, the trade union and pay’, in which processes of individualization in Swedish working life is studied.

Specialist Fields

Main research fields are labour market and welfare policies, industrial relations, and sociology of retirement. Theoretical departures in Bengtsson's research are class perspectives, existential sociology, and political sociology.

Bengtsson mainly does research in Welfare State Policies, Industrial Relations and Sociology of Work and Retirement. He has published texts on activation policies in Sweden and Denmark, transnational trade union cooperation, work as a calling, individualisation processes in Swedish working life, and class and ideological orientations. Currently, Bengtsson is studying active labour market policies in Sweden from a historical perspective, as well as doing analysis of how institutional changes in the sickness insurance and unemployment insurance systems have been legitimized.

Current research

Bengtsson leads the project ‘Activation strategies in Swedish welfare policy 1990-2015’ (funded by the Swedish Research Council). The results of the project is important for a fuller knowledge of main changes in Swedish welfare policies in times of mass unemployment and austerity. An article, co-authored with Kerstin Jacobsson, is found in Sociologisk Forskning: Moreover, the project contributes to an understanding of how Swedish labour market policies have changed in relation to other European countries, as seen in the article ”Labour Market Policy under Conditions of Permanent Austerity: Any Sign of Social Investment?”, Social Policy & Administration 51(2), co-authored with Caroline de la Porte and Kerstin Jacobsson:

Moreover, Bengtsson recently participated in the research project ‘Towards a New Everyday: Individuals' Meaning-Making at the Entry of Retirement from a Social Inequality Perspective’ (funded by the Kamprad Family Foundation). See for instance the article (co-authored with Marita Flisbäck) "On leaving work as a calling; retirement as an existential imperative", International Journal of Ageing and Later Life (2017): A forthcoming publication is the chapter "Work as a Calling" in the anthology Work Orientations: Theoretical Perspectives and Empirical Findings (forthcoming, Routledge).

Besides this, in 2014-17 Bengtsson participated in the research project ‘Conditions and obstacles for trade union cooperation in Europe. A comparative study of countries and sectors’ (funded by The Swedish Foundation for Humanities and Social Sciences). An article, co-authored with Patrik Vulkan, is found in Nordic Journal of Industrial Relations:


Bengtsson primarily teaches in areas such as labour and employment relations and European labour market relations. He is course coordinator and lecturer in a course on social inequality and life conditions. He has also teached continually in other sociology and social psychology courses, as well as on programmes such as the Programme in Human Resource Management and Labour relations, the Teacher Education Programme and the European Studies Programme.


Bengtsson participates in the Centre for Ageing and Health (AgeCap) at the University of Gothenburg. The overall aim of the centre is to perform coordinated studies of capability in aging.