Equality and Diversity

Institutt for tverrfaglige kulturstudier

Equality and Diversity

– Department of Interdisciplinary Studies of Culture

The research area is rather broad, but has so far focused mostly on the interplay between gender, ethnicity, sexuality and (gender) equality with other categories and phenomena in human life, society and the cultures where they are deployed.

The basic questions are: What understandings of gender, ethnicity, sexuality and equality are formed and deployed in different arenas? Which categories and phenomena are gender, sexuality and ethnicities interacting with, under what conditions, to what effect and for whom? An important focus is to analyze what is taken for granted and normalized, as well as the use of power these processes legitimize.

These fundamental questions and more operationalized questions of identity, structuring constructions, politics and cultural meaning-making are studied in a wide range of empirical arenas, as education, employment, work organizations, non-profits, family and reproduction, welfare services, migration and integration, and politics.


Aktive prosjekter

Aktive prosjekter

FAMREUN-prosjektet skal forske på psykososial helse og integrering av enslige mindreårige flyktninger (URM) som har blitt gjenforent med sine familier i Norge, og på hjelpeapparatet som jobber med dem. 

Prosjektleder og kontaktperson: Priscilla Ringrose 

Finansiering: Norges Forskningsråd

Varighet: 2023-2027

Ph.d.-prosjektet handlar om å studere erfaringar med og konsekvensane av auka internasjonalisering av akademia. Internasjonalisering har lenge vært ein ambisjon for universitets- og høgskulesektoren, og inkluderer fenomen som auka akademisk mobilitet, internasjonal publisering, rekrutteringspraksisar og auka bruk av engelsk. Denne utviklinga representerer eit vegval for akademia når det gjeld deira rolle i samfunnet og arbeidskvardagen for tilsette. Forskingsfokuset for prosjektet ligg på NTNU, som i fleire år har hatt ein strategi for auka internasjonalisering.

Arbeidstittelen til prosjektet er: ‘Internasjonalisering av akademia: Mellom politikk, diskurs og levd erfaring’. Forskingsområda ligg på internasjonaliseringspolitikk, mediedebatt om emnet og informasjon frå intervju med tilsette som opplev arbeidskvardagen på kroppen. Ved å studere ulike aspekt av fenomenet, vil eg finne spennet mellom politikk og levd liv i eit internasjonalisert akademia.

Prosjektet blir finansiert av Humanistisk Fakultet, NTNU.

Prosjektansvarlig er Julie Katrine Flikke 

Hovudvegleiar er Professor Siri Øyslebø Sørensen


Med-vegleiar er Professor Guro Korsnes Kristensen 

Avsluttede prosjekter

Avsluttede prosjekter

Cultural Politics of sexuality and ’race’ in Norwegian

Ph.D. dissertation defended by Stine Helena Bang Svendsen, 2014.

The point of departure of this PdH dissertation was the reconfiguration of sexual and racial politics in the Norwegian public sphere over the past decade. Both gender equality and homotolerance was transformed from contested political issues to common values that were seen to positively distinguish Norwegian culture in this process. Furthermore, these issues were increasingly taken up to describe both cultural differences and ”cultural conflicts” internationally and in Norway.

This dissertation investigates the cultural configuration of sexuality and ‘race’ in Norwegian education as they appear in textbooks and in classrooms interaction. The analysis highlights the persistence of heteronormalizing and racializing conceptual frameworks in education that aims to combat discrimination. Specifically, it argues that the denial of ‘race’ as a relevant concept in Norwegian public discourse and education currently hinders educational efforts to prevent racism among young people. Furthermore, it sheds light on how affective aspects of classroom interaction can strengthen or work against education that reproduces oppressive social norms.

Buying and Selling (gender) Equality: Feminized Migration and Gender Equality in Contemporary Norway

The aim of this research project, which ended in 2016, has been to explore the relation between gender equality and the global feminized migration of domestic workers and au pairs. The project was justified by a need for a better understanding of the significance of gender and ethnicity in the formulation of the equality politics of the Norwegian welfare state, with reference to equality between women and men, equality between ethnic majority and ethnic minorities and social/economic levelling. The project has been informed by the concepts of intersectionality and complexity, and has addressed the VAM-program's focus on the significance of inter- and transnational dimensions in the development of the welfare society.

The project has been based at Department of interdisciplinary Studies of Culture and funded by the Norwegian Research Council (NFR) under the programme Welfare, Working life and Migration (VAM) for the period 2011-2014.

More info and publications on the projects webpage

De-gendered equality politics? The making of a political breakthrough for corporate board gender quotas in Norway

Ph.D. dissertation defended by Siri Øyslebø Sørensen, 2013.

The dissertation explores the controversies and chains of action taking place prior to the introduction of legal regulation of gender balance on corporate boards. Through a qualitative, empirical study of how gender quotas on corporate boards were formulated and staged as a policy reform, the study challenges common ideas about how gender equality politics are shaped. Overall the thesis contributes to an ongoing debate on the need for developing new theoretical and analytical perspectives on gender equality politics.

Experts and minorities in the land of gender equality

The project was financed by the Norwegian Research Council / The Program of Gender Research.

This project explored how the value of gender equality is understood, interpreted and shaped as part of the knowledge base for the welfare state’s experts/street level bureaucrats and in these experts’ field of practice as part of “the women-friendly state”. In particular, the project examined the welfare state’s services to ethnic minorities, whether and how ideas and rhetoric on gender equality contribute to further hierarchy and processes of alienation, and traces of opposition or crosscurrents against the dominant understanding.
The project studied how understandings of gender equality are intertwined with understandings of gender, ethnicity/race and sexuality and how these produce categories of majority and minority. In this way the project has contributed to theories of (gender) equality.

Jana Sverdljuks ph.d-dissertation

Gender Equality as a Cultural Borderline – between ”Us” and ”Them”

The project was financed by the Norwegian Research Council / The Program of Gender Research.

This project explored how Norwegian work organizations changing from a homogeneous to a heterogeneous work staff handle this situation in the light of equality politics and diversity politics. A main finding is how the categories of gender, ethnicity/race and sexuality intersect in various ways and make some employees more preferable and appropriate than others.

Prosjektleder: Siri Øyslebø Sørensen

Målet med INTMANG prosjektet er å gi en økt forståelse for hvordan internasjonale forskere erfarer sin arbeidshverdag ved NTNU, og hvordan mottaksapparatet, i form av ledelse og administrasjon sentralt og lokalt på instituttene, møter internasjonale forskere. Rapporten gir også en oversikt over eksisterende forskning om internasjonalt mangfold ved norske universiteter.

Prosjektperiode: juni 2019-februar 2020

Prosjektet er finansiert av Utvalg for likestilling og mangfold NTNU

Lenke til prosjekt-siden https://www.ntnu.no/kult/intmang-internasjonalt-mangfold-ved-ntnu

At the Crossroads between Official Policies, Public Discourses and Everyday Practices

Kontaktperson: Berit Gullikstad

This project will explore how the phenomenon and the concept of integration is perceived, practiced and experienced in political, institutional and everyday practices in specific local communities. The primary aim is to generate new knowledge on how all parts of Norwegian society, and not only migrant people, are affected by and take part in the complex processes of integration.

The project has a cultural analytical approach, focussing on narratives and everyday practices regarding access, belonging, equality and participation, as well as difference, exclusion and discrimination. We have a particular focus on asymmetrical structural and symbolic power dimensions of gender, class, sexuality, age and religion. The contribution of this project is thus an exploration of the social and cultural complexities involved when the political aim of integration is implemented in a local community, and embraced, discussed, challenged, disputed and negotiated at various sites and by differently positioned subjects.


"Mirror, mirror on the wall, who´s most powerful of them all?"

The primary goal of the Mirror, mirror project (2013-2016) was to explore the cultural and social dynamics of gender in influential sectors of society, such as the financial elite, the petrolium industry and the military. What is it about gender, power, and leadership that create a situation wherein men continue to be the leaders of powerful organizations, and how can one think politically about it? This project set out to demonstrate how perspectives from the Humanities and cultural theoretical perspectives can provide insight into the symbolic and cultural meanings of gendered power.

The project addressed questions such as: What symbolic constructions of gender and leadership are found in powerful organizations, as well as in alternative political organizations, and political visions? How are these symbolic constructions connected with structural distribution of power between the sexes? What are the backward-looking and/or forward-looking scientific, cultural, and symbolic meanings of gendered power? How do cultural representations effect recruitment and career development of women and men in the organizations?

More information on the projects webpage 


Norway-Japan: Bridging Research and Education in Gender Equality and Diversity (NJ_BREGED) 

Contact person: Guro Korsnes Kristensen 

This project was a three-year research and teaching collaboration between the Center for Gender Research (CGR) at Department of Interdisciplinary Studies of Culture at NTNU (Norway) and the Institute for Gender Studies (IGS) at Ochanomizu University (Tokyo, Japan).

The project explored to what extent and in which ways we can envisage and/or problematize the ‘export’ of the Norwegian dual earner/dual career model of gender equality to a national context with differing political systems and culture. It asked how the political ideal of gender equality relates to other axes of difference, such as social class, ethnicity/race, sexuality and age within and across the Japanese and Norwegian national contexts. The research questions was addressed through the mutual exchange of both scientific staff and students.

Kontaktperson: Guro Korsnes Kristensen og Jennifer Branlat

Finansiering: INTPART (Norges Forskningsrådet)

Varighet: 2019-2022


The role of digital sharing platforms in social interaction in neighbourhoods

Kontaktperson (KULT): Deniz Akin

Formålet med dette prosjektet er å utforske hvordan bruk av digitale samarbeidsdelingsplattformer (collaborative sharing plattforms) kan bidra til å senke barrierer for sosial deltagelse i bydeler og nabolag. Sentrale mål i prosjektet er å engasjere beboere og organisasjoner til å komme fram til og å evaluere nye måter å bruke både eksisterende og nye samarbeidsdelingsplattformer på, måle sosiale og økonomiske effekter av denne form for samhandling, legge premisser for fremtidig digital omsorgsinfrastruktur i samarbeid med organisasjoner og beboere, samt å bidra til teori- og metodeutvikling i skjæringspunktet mellom IKT, samfunnsvitenskap og humanistiske fag.

Forskningsdesignet er basert på kvalitativ forskningsmetode og datamaterialet vil bestå av intervju med ulike aktører, observasjoner fra utvalgte arenaer og følgeforskning i utvalgte case: Fretex arbeidsformidling, Røde Kors (besøksvenn-ordningen og flyktningguide-ordningen) og frivillighetssentralen.

Prosjektet utføres i samarbeid mellom SINTEF Digital, SINTEF Teknologi og Samfunn, SINTEF Byggforsk, Institutt for Tverrfaglige Kulturstudier, NTNU og utvalgte brukergrupper.

Les mer på prosjektets egen nettside og følg oss på Facebook 

Prosjektet er finanisert av Norges forskningsråd og ledes av seniorforsker Jacqueline Floch ved SINTEF Digital. Fra Institutt for tverrfaglige kulturstudier deltar Deniz Akin (postdoktor), Guro Korsnes Kristensen (forsker) og Thomas Berker (forsker).

Queer Challenges to the Norwegian Policies and Practices of Immigration: Asylum seeking in Norway on the grounds of sexual orientation-based persecution

Ph.D. dissertation defended by Deniz Akin, 2017.

This project expored how the cases of queer asylum seekers are assessed in Norway, by focusing on Norway's treatment of queer asylum seekers application for protection. The project was primarily investigating the following research question:

How do Norwegian immigration authorities understand a genuine sexual orientation and a credible risk of persecution that determine queer claimants' entitlement to asylum in Norway?

The empirical material consists of Norwegian legislation and interviews with caseworkers at The Norwegian Directorate of Immigration and Asylum Seekers.


Associated researchers