Professor's portrait: Jonas Stier
Jonas Stier, Professor, School of Health, Care and Social Welfare , Division of Social Work.
Please tell us briefly about your academic career – what decisions have brought you to where you are today?
I started as a lecturer in Sociology at the University College of Växjö. My teacher encouraged me to teach because he thought I was the right person to do it. Then doctoral education in Sociology, I defended my thesis in 1998 on the topic of identity and migration. At the same time, I worked to promote and develop international and intercultural education. After a year as a research coordinator, and two years as a researcher/senior lecturer at the Department of Teaching and Learning at Växjö University, I was recruited to MDH in 2004. Two years later I was appointed Associate Professor of Sociology and Professor in 2012. Thereafter, I worked at Dalarna University as Head of Research and Professor of Intercultural Studies from 2016 to 2020. I also served one year as the acting Pro-Vice-Chancellor. In addition, I have been a visiting professor at the University of Skövde, Malmö University and Georg-Adolf-Universität, Göttingen. In 2020, I was appointed Professor of Social Work at MDH. Currently I am the Adviser to the Vice-Chancellor on research and doctoral education. In fact, I am a Professor of four subjects which probably is unusual, perhaps even unique? I have worked a great deal with collaboration, both in Sweden and internationally.
In what area do you conduct research?
Social work, social psychological themes in social work, for instance identity, participation, communication, intercultural interaction in various activities, social problems, safe sport, extremism, diversity, migration, but also the impact of new technology on people and organisations.
How would you describe your research environment at MDU?
A dynamic, interdisciplinary environment exists in healthcare-welfare. I work with several research teams.
What is the driving force in your research?
Passion, curiosity and the desire to change and to contribute with knowledge to create a better world for people. Reach groups in the WHOLE community.
Which research domains are particularly important for you?
All kinds of social psychological issues – where the focus is on the person, their vulnerability and inner capacity. Meetings between people.
How do you feel about becoming a Professor given that MDU has recently become an official University?
It’s fantastic – for reasons mentioned earlier. I was the first person to receive a Master's Degree in Sociology at the University college of Växjö and will now be the first Professor of Social Work to be appointed after MDU has obtained university status.
What's the best part about conducting research at MDU?
The climate and colleagues – and the desire to collaborate!