Millions to research at the University of Gävle

2020-10-11 

Swedish Research Council for Health, Working life and Welfare has awarded nearly 7 million to research on social work and crime, divided into three research grants.

Högskolan i Gävle

Sofia Wikman, docent in criminology at the University of Gävle, was recently awarded 4.9 million SEK by Swedish Research Council for Health, Working life and Welfare (Forte) for a three-year study called “What happened in Sweden over the last 40 years?" which focuses on how immigration has affected the developments of crime in Sweden over the last 40 years. Official statistics show that immigrants are over-represented among those suspected of and convicted of crimes, especially violent crime.

In the last few decades, the proportion of immigrants in Sweden has increased rapidly. Despite this fact, several categories of offences show no significant increase. Thus, there is no simple connection between immigration and crime.

With this background, the following hypotheses can be formulated:

  1. Development of crime in Sweden has been directly affected by immigration and this development would have been more favourable should immigration have been lower. Higher crime rates among immigrants have been added on to those of the rest of the population.
  2. Development of crime in Sweden has not been directly affected by immigration; instead it has resulted in a substitution between groups in the population, which in turn can be related to social and economic differences.

“Until today, studies on the developments of crime in Sweden focus mainly on the extent and the development rather than on causes, and they tend to be descriptive rather than analytic in nature. More in-depth studies are needed, studies that can provide nuanced and well-supported answers to the questions if, and if so, in what ways, gender, ethnicity and social class are related to crime and can be used to explain it,” Sofia Wikman says.

Participating researchers from the University of Gävle:

Amber Beckley
Amir Rostami
Jerzy Sarnecki
Lars Westfelt
Sofia Wikman

My Lilja, Malmö University

Sofia Wikman and Pia Tham were also awarded one grant each to synthesize and develop their research. Sofia Wikman’s research focuses on preventing violence in working life, while Pia Tham focuses on creating a sustainable working life within the social services.

“It is very rewarding that Forte through these grants draws attention to research at the University of Gävle. Two out of five grants to research development went to the University of Gävle,” says Pia Tham, docent in social work at the University of Gävle.

Swedish Research Council for Health, Working life and Welfare (Forte) recently awarded Sofia Wikman, docent in criminology at the University of Gävle, 4.9 million SEK for a three-year study named “What happened in Sweden over the last 40 years? Studies on crime, gender, ethnicity and social class.”

Sofia Wikman is a docent in criminology at the Department of Social Work and Criminology. Her research interests range from the developments of crime to methods of measuring and preventing violence in working life and, further, to the understanding of social problems like mental health conditions, risks and safety issues in working life and victims of crimes.

Contact

Sofia Wikman, docent in criminology at the University of Gävle
Phone: 079-079 10 57
E-mail: Sofia.Wikman@hig.se

Pia Tham, docent in social work at the University of Gävle
Phone: 070- 363 18 75
E-mail: Pia.Tham@hig.se



Text: Douglas Öhrbom

Published by: Douglas Öhrbom Page responsible: Veronica Liljeroth Updated: 2020-10-12
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