Johan Jansson

Universitetslektor docent vid Kulturgeografiska institutionen

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

Kort presentation

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.

New book out (2021): Culture, creativity and economy: Collaborative practices, value creation and spaces of creativity (

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

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

Reserach: 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 alter 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. 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. Primarily he uses qualitative methods such as interviews, observations, secondary material and qualitative data analysis.

Teaching: Johan is involved in planning, administrating and teaching at various courses and at vrious levels (undergraduate, master and PhD).

Other: Johan has experience in leading and coordinating research projects. He is involved in administrative tasks on department and faculty levels. In addition, Johan does talks and presentations at conferences, events and other contexts.

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.
  • “Funerals under construction - The role of intermediaries for tradition and renewal of funerals in contemporary Sweden”. Individuals who have lost a loved one face a number of practical and existential issues when they are tasked with planning and organising a funeral: Who is going to take part in the organising? What colour and style for the coffin and what music would the deceased have wanted for the ceremony? Given that people, on average, are only involved in the planning of 1.7 funerals during their lifetime (SBF 2022), most people are ill-equipped when faced with these issues and have, furthermore, rarely considered the symbolic content of funerary rites. In an often chaotic and distressing situation, the bereaved has to navigate a complex landscape of norms, values, regulations and new technological solutions (Maddrell & Sidaway 2010). In these situations, intermediary actors such as funeral homes, directors and officiants (religious and civil funeral officiants) have an important and influential role in interpreting and translating the wishes of the deceased and the bereaved, as well as mediating both tradition and renewal - thus functioning as co-creators of funeral rites. The aim of this project is thus to study the role of intermediaries for interpreting, translating and implementing tradition and renewal in relation to funerals in contemporary Sweden, with a focus on how funeral intermediaries perceive their role and the context in which they perform their tasks. The purpose is to gain in-depth insight into how intermediaries in the funeral industry work in a contemporary context, but also using the study of these intermediaries as a prism to better understand and interpret change in both the individual planning of funerals (micro level) and structural changes (macro level) of how funerals are conducted today. Hence, the project will not only increase our knowledge of funerals in Sweden today, but will offer a discussion on how we might think of larger theories of societal change surrounding the place of death in society in relation to the experiences and perspectives of funerary intermediaries.
  • “The Art of Migrating: A study of how artists and musicians create translocal connections and belongings in times of conflict and uncertainty”. Migration is one of the most controversial issues in today's globalized world and has spurred societaldiscussions regarding boundaries of inclusion and exclusion and what it means to belong. While on onehand, it is seen as a necessary outcome of increased international collaborations. On the other, it is closelyconnected to forced migration, often experienced as a threat to the social cohesion of nation states. The artsare well suited for reimagining new narratives of our communities, and to mediate complex questions suchas those concerning migration and belonging. This study investigates transnational networks and culturalpractices of musicians and artists. We explore if, how and in what ways artistic practices may play a role inthe formation of transnational modes of belonging in Sweden today. We conduct case studies of four artist-run organisations focusing on contemporary art and music; The art collective AllArtNow! a group of Syrianartists in Stockholm; Verdensrommet, a network working for the rights of migrant artists in Scandinavia;Flen Världsorkester, a group aiming to create integration through music, and Bullermyrens Spelmanslag, agroup of Syrian and Swedish musicians in Dalarna. Fieldwork involves participant observations, in-depthinterviews and netnography. The project contributes with in-depth knowledge of the sensory aspect ofmigration and in what ways music and art can create senses of belonging that are not spatially or ethnically bounded.
  • ”Spatial and temporal challenges in hybridized work”. The Covid-19 pandemic forced two accelerating paradigmatic shifts in how we understand, organize, communicate and lead organizations. The first transformation of work practices from an established physical context to a digital context was in September 2021 followed by a second transformation into hybridized work practices as society gradually opened up again. 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 eagerly return to the office, the complexities of hybridized work have resulted in new spatial-temporal hierarchies and struggles of inclusion noticeable in meetings 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 main research questions are 1) How do temporal and spatial dimensions of hybrid work impact organizational and personal identity formation? 2) What is the role of spatiality and temporality in processes of digitalization, and in constituting resonant social and technological encounters? 3) What can be learned about the constraints of digitalization by studying the spatial and temporal conditioning and effects of hybridized work?

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.

Kontakta katalogansvarig vid den aktuella organisationen (institution eller motsv.) för att rätta ev. felaktigheter.

Johan Jansson
Senast uppdaterad: 2021-03-09