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Sofia Persson

Senior Lecturer

Department of Education and Special
Visiting address
Västra Hamngatan 25
41117 Göteborg
Postal address
Box 300
40530 Göteborg

Senior Lecturer

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

About Sofia Persson

SOFIA PERSSON is a researcher and lecturer in the the Department of Education and Special Education, and the Department of Sociology, University of Gothenburg. She is qualified as a primary school teacher, grades 1-7 in Swedish, civics and art. She also has a master's degree in Sociology. She worked as a primary school teacher from 1996 to1998, followed by working in local government and with educational development. She was admitted to the National Postgraduate School at the Institute of Working Life in Stockholm in 2000. She also studied at the Department of Sociology in Gothenburg. Persson received her PhD in 2008 with a thesis on the emergence of the teaching professions and changes in basic education in Sweden.

Teaching and tutoring Sofia Persson teaches in Sociological Theory and in Social Studies. Her teaching also involves tutorials and examination of essays in Sociology and Teacher Training.

Research Interests Cooperation between Professionals and Volunteers, Firesetting, school fires Sociology of professions, Education, history of education, Working life, Sex / gender, Methodology (especially critical realism).

Current research projects Sofia work together with Sara Uhnoo within the project “Cooperation between Professionals and Volunteers in Disaster Management: The 2014 Forest Fire in the Västmanland Province of Sweden”. The project is funded by Forte.

The project will examine the cooperation and coordination of action between the fire and rescue services and volunteers (both those coming from established NGOs and more spontaneously acting non-organized volunteers such as local residents) actively involved in disaster management during the Västmanland forest fire and its aftermath.

The findings from the study will be analysed in light of existing research on disaster management, volunteerism in general, and volunteer activities during disasters, drawing upon research on professional organizations and cooperation as well. The analyse will be based on qualitative interviews with personnel from the fire and rescue services and volunteers; documents, including legislation, regulations, policy documents and information material; social media posts, especially from Facebook, which provide access to real-time comments, conversations, instructions and reactions to the fire.

The study will contribute by improving our understanding of the role and functions of civil society/non-state actors in disaster management, of the structures and processes influencing the actions of professional groups and organizations, and of the possibilities and limits for cooperation between key actors in large-scale disasters. The findings will help strengthen communities’ ability to manage future disasters and crises of comparable kind.