I am a sociologist and a Research Professor at the Norwegian Centre for Violence and Traumatic Stress Studies (NKVTS).
My current research focuses on questions of gender, violence and power, including sexual and gender-based violence against women migrants and refugees and intimate partner violence. Other major topics of my research have been changes over time and generations in men’s work–family practices and gender relations, and migration and social change. My research has also spanned a number of other topics, including ethical banking, public sector management and organisational change, the welfare state, theories of social justice, human rights, and policy studies. Read more about my research.
I studied politics, contemporary history, regional planning and economics, majored in the latter two, and graduated with a cand.mag. degree at the University of Tromsø in 1981, with an MA in European economic studies at the College of Europe in 1982, and with a mag.art. degree (Ph.D. equivalent) in economic sociology at the University of Oslo in 1995, with a dissertation on microfinance, ethical and interest-free banking, Pengene mot strømmen [Money Against the Stream]. I received a Ph.D. in gender studies at Örebro University in 2014; my dissertation Modern Men draws on sociological and social psychological perspectives on intergenerational transmission and social change. I was awarded full professor competence in gender studies in 2015.
During the 1980s and early 1990s, I worked at the Regional Development Fund (now Innovation Norway) and the National Institute of Technology, and as a business consultant, mainly promoting regional development and female entrepreneurship. In the early 1990s I was coordinator of an ultimately unsuccessful initiative to establish an interest-free bank in Norway, modelled after JAK Members Bank in Sweden. From 1993 I was affiliated with the Project for an Alternative Future (now the Centre for Development and the Environment at the University of Oslo), where I wrote my dissertation on financial institutions, building upon my prior practical work in this field. Since 1997 I have worked as a researcher and research professor at several research institutions including the Work Research Institute, the University of Oslo, Oslo Research and the Norwegian Centre for Violence and Traumatic Stress Studies. I have formerly been President of Norway’s two main women’s rights NGOs, the Norwegian Association for Women’s Rights and the Norwegian Women’s Lobby, and I have served as an independent expert on gender equality to the European Commission.
I have taught and/or supervised students in sociology, psychology, social work, gender studies and cultural studies.