Johan Jansson

Universitetslektor docent vid Kulturgeografiska institutionen

018-471 2542
Ekonomikum, Kyrkogårdsgatan 10
Box 513
751 20 UPPSALA

Kort presentation

Johan Jansson is an associate professor (universitetslektor/docent) at the Department of Human Geography at Uppsala University.

Jansson's research concerns the spatial organization of (economic) activities, spatially and socially embedded processes (e.g. knowledge, creativity) and how technology alter dynamics of distance/proximity.

Akademiska meriter: Docent

Nyckelord: qualitative methods consumption innovation digitalization embeddedness knowledge flows cultural and creative industries production intermediation urban and rural planning regional development proximity distance

Jansson does research, teaching, and is involved in university administration. Additionally, Jansson does talks and presentations at conferences, workshops and other contexts.

Jansson has experience in writing applications, leading and coordinating research projects. On a general level, Jansson's research concerns the spatial organization of (economic) activities, spatially and socially embedded processes (e.g. knowledge, creativity, values) and how technology alters dynamics of distance/proximity and thus changes social and economic interactions. More specifically, his research concerns questions related to how, for example, new technologies (digitalization) are changing the spatial conditions for localization, as well as the social embeddedness of knowledge flows, value-creating processes for production, consumption and intermediaries. Theoretically and conceptually these studies are framed through agglomerations, local-global linkages, knowledge and knowledge flows, creative (urban) milieus and processes of values e.g. quality, (place) branding, curation and entrepreneurship. Primarily he uses qualitative methods such as interviews, observations, secondary material and qualitative data analysis. Empirically, his focus is on for example different cultural industries (e.g. music, theater, arts, design), the internet industry, local milieus, urban and regional development.

In relation to teaching Jansson is involved in planning, administrating and teaching at various courses at the Department of Human Geography (undergraduate, master level) and coordinating PhD level courses within the national PhD course program. He is mainly teaching in courses related to Economic geography and Urban and regional planning, but does also teach more broader aspects of Human Geography. Currently Jansson is the program coordinator for the Samhällsplaneringsprogrammet (Bachelor's Program in Urban and Regional Planning) at Uppsala university. In addition, Jansson does teach in interdisciplinary contexts such as the Master Program in Socio-Technical Systems Engineering.

Jansson has experience in university administration (e.g. human geography department board 2012-2020, teacher representative at the social science faculty board at Uppsala university 2018-2023, member of the election committee at the faculty of Social science at Uppsala University 2023-) and is from fall 2023 deputy head of department at the department of human geography, Uppsala University.

Ongoing projects

“Creative and entrepreneurial edges: Creativity, entrepreneurship, and business networks on the edge and periphery of Sweden” (funded by Handelsbanken Jan Wallanders och Tom Hedelius Stiftelse Tore Browaldhs Stiftelse (2020- ). Economic geography has long recognized and theorized the importance of urbanization and location economies. This program contributes to a growing body of theory and empirics that attempt to nuance and challenge this orthodoxy. The overall aim is to investigate and conceptualize what ‘edge’ neighborhoods, networks and creativity mean for economic competitiveness and sustainability in Sweden. The project empirically investigates Swedish edge phenomena that whilst shaped by inward investments and outside influences may also be said to be rooted in isolation, independence and endogenous networks. The cases are examples that are peripheral both in a topographical sense (i.e. at the edge of a region) and a topological sense (i.e. at the edge of a network). First, we aim to highlight how being peripheral does not necessarily mean being disadvantaged or deficient and draws attention to the possibilities that networks and places on the edge may enjoy. Second, we attempt to contribute to theory in economic geography by highlighting the complexity and diversity of peripherality and by critically engaging with the idea that peripherality (and distance) can be an asset just as it can be a liability. Third, we consider how peripheral or edge networks and places add to explanations of how creative agglomerations come into being, and how actors mobilize to create the conditions for agglomerations and regional development.

“Funerary navigators: from fixed framework to facilitating choice in a shifting landscape” Traditionally, the Church of Sweden provided a clear framework for how funerals and pastoral care were carried out and the Church still plays an important institutional role when it comes to funerals in contemporary Sweden. However, in an increasingly secularized society it is no longer obvious who or what sets the framework for how a funeral is conducted and the concept of 'the church in the centre of the village' has gradually lost its meaning. Given this background, the aim of this project is to increase understanding of the functional and spatial division brought about by processes of differentiation and professionalisation of funeral services. Empirically, the project will focus on three types of actors - officiant training programmes, civil funeral officiants and priests and funeral directors/homes. The project also focuses on three different spatial levels (urban, rural and online) within a clearly defined region – Uppsala County. It is an interdisciplinary project which using qualitative methods combines theoretical and analytical competence from two disciplines: Sociology of religion and human geography. The project will provide new knowledge into how the system of actors that relate to funerals in contemporary Sweden act and from a starting point in these insights enable a better understanding of how individuals plan their funerals (micro level) and how structural changes (macro level) influence how funerals are conducted today.

”Spatial and temporal challenges in hybridized work”. Two paradigmatic shifts have changed how we understand, organize, communicate and lead organizations. The first major transformation of work practices from an established physical context to a digital context initiated by the digital revolution of the mid 1990s, accelerated into the mainstream in September 2021 as a result of COVID-19. This was followed by a second transformation into hybridized work practices as society gradually opened up again due to C OVID-restrictions being lifted. This second transformation is much more complex and unpredictable than the first, because it combines elements of remote work with traditional in-office work as the home and the workplace simultaneously now have the status of workplace. As many organizations now have returned to the office, the complexities of hybridized work have resulted in new spatial-temporal hierarchies and struggles of inclusion noticeable in practices that combine remote and physical participants. Combining a relational perspective on practice with Hartmut Rosa’s theories of technological acceleration, identity, and alienation/resonance, the proposed project aims at establishing a long-term research environment that investigates the spatial and temporal challenges that emerge from hybridized work practices.

Past projects (selected)

  • “The Art of Migrating: A study of how artists and musicians create meanings and translocal connections in times of conflict and uncertainty” (funded by Circus/Uppsala University 2021-2022.
  • “Managing the challenges of time and space in digital transformation” (funded by Vinnova 2021-2022).
  • “Innovating funerals and funeral rites in Sweden” (funded by Circus/Uppsala University 2020-2021).
  • “Managing the digital transformation of physical space” (funded by Vinnova 2019-2021)
  • “Intermediation, place and value creation: Exploring the processes and spaces of ‘curation’” (funded by Riksbankens Jubileumsfond 2015-2021)
  • ”Culture, creativity and economy” (Rambidrag för kulturforskning’), funded by Vetenskapsrådet 2014-2020.
  • "Quality, competitiveness and regions", funded by Handelsbanken and the Jan Wallanders and Tom Hedelius Stiftelse Tore Browaldhs Stiftelse, 2011-14.
  • ”I besökarens fotspår” ("Following the visitor”), funded by ‘Uppsala Innovation’ through the project ‘Verifiering för samverkan’ (‘Verification for collaboration’), 2014-2015.
  • "Competitiveness through quality”, funded by The Joint Committee for Nordic Research Councils for the Humanities and the Social Sciences (NOS-HS) and the funding of Nordic Collaborative Research Projects (NORDCORP), 2009-13.
  • “Creativity and Innovation in the Cultural Industries”, funded by Wallander/Hedelius Fund at Handelsbanken, 2006-09.
  • ”The Image of the City - Urban Branding as Constructed Capabilities in Nordic City Regions”, funded by the Nordic Innovation Center, 2005-06.
  • “Creative Directions - a framework for supporting the creative industries”, funded by the Nordic Innovation Center, 2005.
  • “The Future in Design”, funded by the Nordic Industrial Fund, 2004.
  • ”Behind the Music”, funded by the Nordic Industrial Fund, 2003.
  • ”The Internet Industry in Central Stockholm” (thesis project) A Study of Agglomeration Economies, Social Network Relations, and Information Flows [Internetbranschen i Stockholms innerstad – En studie av agglomerationsfördelar, sociala nätverksrelationer och informationsflöden]”. Thesis project funded by Uppsala University, 2000-2005.

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Johan Jansson
Senast uppdaterad: 2021-03-09