tommy.jensen@sbs.su.se johan.sandstrom@ltu.se

All posts by Tommy Jensen


AC/DC, the groin and science


The frontman of AC/DC, Brian Jonson, once replied to a journalist’s question about why AC/DC has remained so popular since the 1970s, that their music enters the listener through the groin first – men and women alike. Listening to, playing and recording music we can sort of relate to this groin sensation. But what has this to do with science? Nothing says the instrumentalists and the purists. Nothing says those who fear […]

Storyteller #7 – wrong research strategy


We met storyteller #7 for the first time in a hotel lobby in Kiruna. He is an experienced miner, a man, presently working above ground. After talking to us for a while, he concludes that our research strategy is wrong. – Actually, you’re doing this the wrong way, I have to say. If I were you I’d first go around and observe (inside the gates), first get an understanding (of […]

Storyteller #6 – visibility and organizational change


Storyteller #6 is a man who have worked above ground for 20 years, previously as a worker, now as a manager. His story is one about visibility and organizational change. – When you change from under ground to above ground … (is that a change from ‘we’ to ‘them’?) – That there are different practices of work, or? – ‘We get the stone up, but you…’ – [—] Everybody works together […]

Storyteller #5 – management


This story about management is told by a man who have been working in the mine for a quarter of a century, both under and above ground, previously as a worker, now as a manager. – I have my own theory: that it’s more trustworthy, for those (workers) who have to change, when a (a leader with experience of working in a mine) comes. ‘He’s one of us, so he […]

Kiruna zones


We were out riding in our rented car when it struck Tommy: Somebody is actually doing something to their house! The thought came quick and Tommy did not understand at first why this thought emerged so strongly. Then we realized – being in the zones in Kiruna that will be teared down, is being in an area where not much happens in terms of renovation and maintenance of buildings. What is […]

Moods in the field


The morale of this story is that any kind of social science research implies going in and out of moods. Being in a mood, and throughout life, in different contexts, going in and out of moods, is a precondition for human lives. And of course, this is a lived experience that is totally left out in social science textbooks, conferences and PhD education. Different moods imply different conversations, different writing, […]

Spatial divisions of labour


We think that it is always of great interest to read a so-called classic book. Doreen Massey’s book Spatial Divisions of Labour (social structures and the geography of production) is definitely a social science classic and a relevant one for our project (Palgrave, second edition, 1984/1995). In Tommy’s words: Massey is for me a rather demanding author; not that the language is tricky, nor the analysis exceptionally complicated. The demanding part […]

Responsible research: combining sense and sensibility


Below is text on responsible research by guest blogger, Anette Hallin at Mälardalen University, Sweden (read more about Anette by clicking here): What is our responsibility as researchers? To develop knowledge about the world, most people would answer. But how do we do this in a responsible way? According to my view, performing responsible research involves issues about the relationship between the researcher and that which she studies; a question […]

Theoretical saturation


There is a golden rule in research that you can stop a case study when you have theoretical saturation, that is, when you sense that what you hear, observe and see are same-same-but-not-too-different. As all golden rules this one is doubtful. Can there be an end to a case study for this reason? So far, we have managed to equip ourselves with new questions and issues – and the very reason […]

The first day


The story of how young people imagine a future in Kiruna continues, this time in a song (in Swedish). During our last trip to Kiruna, in our conversations with (broadly defined:-) grown-ups we heard echoes of our previous conversations with a group of young girls. This short dialogue came to mind: Girl 1 (19 years young): There is nothing in Kiruna. Girl 2 (19 years young): There is everything in […]

Blast (gotta move)


“Blast (gotta move)” is a song about the anxiety of knowing what you have but not what you get, of trying to act collectively but faced with separate negotiations, with not knowing whether or not to afford what the market-conditions dictate, with up-rooting children if leaving Kiruna town is the only viable solution, about having to leave the beautiful scenery appearing outside the kitchen window, about the state withdrawing, leaving movement of […]

Racial structures in the labour process


Visiting Kiruna means several hotel nights. Hanging out at the hotel, it becomes quite obvious that Kiruna, although very unique, is a familiar site in that: immigrant labour is very visible in the service part of society. Hence, at the hotel, the cleaners we meet and greet are immigrants, the breakfast staff is more mixed. So what? Besides an observation, most likely relevant to many other service institutions in our society, what does […]

Resistance: A tit for a butt


A small story – but so strong! A girl meets boys, in a boyzone, and their pin-up calendars in the coffee room under ground. What to do, except for complaining to the boys and the organization? Well, after some attempts, this girl decided to have her own calendars at display down the mine. Male, naked, hunks (we assume, haven’t seem them). A sort of resistance. If this is a good […]

Automation


“No hands in the mine” – a Utopian tale driven by technological advances, but also very much a real thing, something that is happening in the world of mining. It is thus not something that only belongs to the visionary, it is also very strategic and concrete. Over time, there are less hands in the mine as miners are replaced by machines or moved to control rooms above ground, joysticking […]