Category Archives: In Sweden

The logic of labor

I arrived in Copenhagen a couple of hours ago. I  waited 2 hours for a train from the airport because trains are running on the holiday schedule. I am now crammed onto a packed train, standing room only, to Växjö. … Continue reading

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Stepping in it: preface to a risky post

A little over a year ago I was conducting my first research interview in Sweden. My research there focuses on the way that school principals mange the diversity of their student populations (most schools were at least 50% first or … Continue reading

Posted in Culture Shock, In Guangzhou, In Sweden, In Vermont, Interculturalism, Musings, Sociology | 1 Comment

Barnbidrag, lessons in financial management

One of the most popular social welfare policies in Sweden is the child allowance (barnbidrag).  This policy gives a good sense of how a universal welfare state works. The Swedish government makes a monthly payment of 1,050 SEK (160 USD) … Continue reading

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Over the past year or so I have noticed a significant decrease in the extent to which I suffer from jetlag. On my most recent arrival in Sweden (coming from the US), I seemed to have skipped the jetlag entirely … Continue reading

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Cultures of the body

I’ve experienced one difference between health care in the US in Sweden that has nothing to do with how folks pay for health care. Instead it is a cultural difference tapping into very different ideas about the body. In my … Continue reading

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Inside “Socialized” Medicine

Here’s how it works. All legal residents of the country have full access to the national health care system. Shortly after arrival newcomers like me are sent paperwork to fill out. They are asked for some of the details of … Continue reading

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Party politics: Why can’t we have that?

Another post in my series of posts whining about things that they have in other places but that we don’t have in the US. The political system in the US is broken. The clincher for me was this few minutes in which … Continue reading

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Football weather, Swedish-style

It is a rainy, cool and gray day here in Växjö and the weekend is promising to be about the same. It is the kind of day that makes you want to wear wool socks and a sweater or comfy … Continue reading

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Cold Fish or Friendly Strangers?

I could point you to many sources that support my claim that Swedes have the reputation of being cold and stand-offish. When I arrived, I had already heard the rumors, and I certainly developed an understanding of why they exist. … Continue reading

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Dispatch from the office, Swedish edition

One of the challenges about working in Sweden (or at least here at this University) is that many people are not very comfortable speaking English, most of the paperwork and online information systems are exclusively in Swedish, grant applications, talks … Continue reading

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