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Professor in Social Anthropology, Stockholm University

Annika Rabo is professor in Social Anthropology at Stockholm University since 2008.

She was earlier associate professor at Linköping University, researcher at the Swedish Research Council and researcher at the Centre for Research in International Migration and Ethnic Relations – CEIFO – at Stockholm University. Annika Rabo received her Ph.D. in Social Anthropology in 1986 after completing a thesis on the political and social effects of a gigantic irrigation scheme along the Euphrates in northeast Syria. Analyses of categorisations and systems of classification, and analyses of the state, bureaucracies and policies as well as state-citizen relationships have been central in her work. After her Ph.D she has worked on different projects like “Perceptions of development in Jordan and Syrian” focusing on mass media and education (in the late 1980s). From the end of the 1990s she has worked on traders in the Aleppo bazaar, which resulted in the book A Shop of One's Own Independence and Reputation among Traders in Aleppo (4130 Kb) and in 2010 she finished two projects on family law; one on debates about family law reform in Syria and one on transnational Syrians and family law. Between 2005 and 2009 Annika Rabo led the multidisciplinary project “Teacher education in ‘multicultural’ Sweden. Class, gender and ethnicity in a comparative perspective”. She was furthermore engaged in two large projects with EU-support. In one of them - “Islamic fashion in Europe”- researchers from The Netherlands, Denmark, England, Germany and Sweden searched for and analysed the presence of “Islamic fashion” in the streets of Europe. In the other – “Improving access to and quality of reproductive and child health care to marginal peoples: Bedouin in Lebanon and Jordan” – Annika Rabo was in charge of monitoring and evaluation.

Annika Rabo is the teamleader of the multidisciplinary project “Future citizens in pedagogic texts and educational policy. Examples from Lebanon, Sweden and Turkey” in which five other researchers are active. The project is supported by the Educational committee of the Swedish Research Council. Schools remain an important educational arena where the citizens of the future both emerge and are constructed. We focus on policy documents and on pedagogical texts in history, civics, religion and geography in the later years of compulsory school and we will study how the “right” citizen is presented and depicted and what values are highlighted at both national and global level. The examination and analysis of education policies and texts in a comparative international perspective can shed light on the varying national educational contexts as well as acting as an entry point for analyses of global processes of change of relevance to schools and education. Over and above textual analysis, interviews will also be conducted with educational bureaucrats and politicians and with authors of textbooks.

Together with Erik Olsson Annika Rabo also works in the project “Service and welfare in transnational space” which has received support from the Bank of Sweden Tercentenary Foundation. The aim of this project is to understand how social networks assume responsibility for social support in transnationally connected migrant populations. The focus is on social care and welfare related services among Assyrians/Syriac migrants residing in Sweden and among Swedish/Nordic migrants residing in Spain whose everyday lives are embedded in transnational spaces. There are significant differences between these categories and the social practices of these diasporas will materialise in different ways. The two categories also have different experiences of publicly and privately organised and financed welfare and of formal and informal care in their ‘home-countries’. Data will be collected through an inventory of welfare actors, semi-structured interviews with these actors, participant observations in service and care institutions and in-depth interviews with welfare actors.


  • –present
    Professor in Social Anthropology , Stockholm University