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Lena Gunnarsson

Title: Researcher School/office: School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences


Phone: +46 19 303371, +46 762 313679

Room: F3106

Research Subject

Research environments

About Lena Gunnarsson

Lena is a researcher and teacher in Gender Studies, active above all in the fields of feminist theory, social theory and love studies. Much of her work is dedicated to bridging the current gulf between feminist theory, since long dominated by poststructuralist approaches, and realism, by applying a critical realist framework in her analyses of gender and power.

Lena’s doctoral thesis, which she defended in 2013, theorizes women’s subordination to men in and through sexuality and love. The Routledge version of the thesis, The Contradictions of Love, was awarded the Cheryl Frank Memorial Prize.

Lena is convener of The Feminist Love Studies Network. She is also a member of the editorial team of Journal of Critical Realism.

Read more about Lena’s research and download part of her work at


Articles in journals |  Articles, book reviews |  Books |  Chapters in books |  Conference proceedings (editor) |  Doctoral theses, monographs |  Reports | 

Articles in journals

Gunnarsson, L. (2017). Why we keep separating the ‘inseparable’: Dialecticizing intersectionality. The European Journal of Women's Studies, 24 (2), 114-127.
Gunnarsson, L. , Martínez Dy, A. & van Ingen, M. (2016). Critical Realism, Gender and Feminism: Exchanges, Challenges, Synergies. Journal of Critical Realism, 15 (5), 433-439.
Gunnarsson, L. & Jónasdóttir, A. G. (2016). För ett brett fält av feministiska kärleksstudier. Tidskrift för Genusvetenskap, 37 (2), 3-10.
Gunnarsson, L. (2015). Breaking intellectual taboos with Roy by my side. Journal of Critical Realism, 14 (2), 121-124.
Gunnarsson, L. (2015). Nature, Love and the Limits of Male Power. Journal of Critical Realism, 14 (3), 325-332.
Gunnarsson, L. (2011). A defence of the category 'women'. Feminist Theory, 12 (1), 23-37.
Gunnarsson, L. (2007). Sova med fienden: feminister berättar om att ha sex med män. Socialistisk debatt (1), 35-54.
Gunnarsson, L. (2006). Familjen – stötdämpare och avfallscentral. Socialistisk Debatt (1), 103-112.
Gunnarsson, L. (2006). Frö av feminism i marxismen. Socialistisk Debatt (1), 113-118.
Gunnarsson, L. (2005). Besvärliga begär. Bang: feministisk kulturtidskrift (1), 36-39.
Gunnarsson, L. (2005). "Jag tar aldrig initiativet till sex". Flamman (1 sep).

Articles, book reviews

Gunnarsson, L. (2015). Review of On Love: A Philosophy for the Twenty-first Century by Luc Ferry. Journal of Critical Realism, 14 (4), 420-424.
Gunnarsson, L. (2014). Review of Why Love Hurts: A Sociological Explanation. By Eva Illouz. Journal of Critical Realism, 13 (1), 102-105.


Gunnarsson, L. (2014). The Contradictions of Love: Towards a feminist-realist ontology of sociosexuality. New York: Routledge (Ontological Explorations ).

Chapters in books

Gunnarsson, L. (2014). Loving him for who he is: The microsociology of power. In: Anna G. Jónasdóttir and Ann Ferguson, Love: a question for feminism in the twenty first century (pp. 97-110). New York: Routledge.
Gunnarsson, L. (2011). Loving him for who he is: Pinpointing the mechanisms of female subordination in heterosexual couple love. In: So!a Strid and Anna G. Jónasdóttir, GEXcel Work in Progress ReportVolume VII: Proceedings from GEXcel Theme 10:Love in Our Time – A Question for FeminismSpring 2010. Örebro/Linköping: GEXcel.
Gunnarsson, L. (2010). Bereit für die Liebe?. In: Frigga Haug, Briefe aus der Ferne: Anforderungen an ein feministisches Projekt heute (pp. 131-138). Hamburg: Argument.
Gunnarsson, L. (2009). Ist Die Linke Bereit Für Die Liebe?: Die Schwedishe Linkspartei Und Der Feminismus. In: Frigga Haug, Anforderungen an Ein Linkes Feministisches Projekt Heute: Ergebnisse Einer Internationalen Umfrage: Beiträge Zur Programmdiskussion Der Linken (pp. 44-46). Berlin: Die Linke.
Gunnarsson, L. (2008). Accumulated worthiness?: Women and men, love and authority. In: Kathleen B. Jones, Gunnel Karlsson, Gender and the interests of love: essays in honour of Anna G. Jónasdóttir. Örebro: Örebro University.

Conference proceedings (editor)

Strid, S. (ed.) , Husu, L. (ed.) & Gunnarsson, L. (ed.) (2012). Gender paradoxes in Changing Academic and Scientific Organisation(s): GEXcel Work in Progress Report, Volume X Proceedings from GEXcel Themes 11-12. Örebro: Örebro universitet (CFS Report Series 16).
Gunnarsson, L. (ed.) , Jónasdóttir, A. G. (ed.) & Karlsson, G. (ed.) (2008). GEXcel Work in Progress Report. Volume II: Proceedings from GEXcel Theme 1: Gender, Sexuality and Global Change. Fall 2007. Örebro: Örebro university (CFS report series 7).

Doctoral theses, monographs

Gunnarsson, L. (2013). On the Ontology of Love, Sexuality and Power: Towards a Feminist-Realist Depth Approach. (Doctoral dissertation). Örebro: Örebro uiversitet.