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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: F3235

Research Subject

Research environments

About Lena Gunnarsson

Main Research Areas

  • Feminist theory
  • Philosophy of science for the social sciences
  • Critical realism
  • Love
  • Sexuality, sexual consent, sexual violence

Current Research

I have just finished a research project on what I call “dynamics of sexual consent”. Through interviews with women and men with varying sexual orientations I have studied the processes whereby people end up having sex with one another, mainly focusing on experiences which in some way complicate the drawing of boundaries between consent and non-consent.

In 2019 I started up two new research projects. The first, which I carry out with Sofia Strid, Örebro University, addresses “sugar dating”, the disputed phenomen where young women “date” older men in exchange for money and other material values. The second project, carried out together with Maria Wemrell, Lund University, and Britta Lundgren, Umeå University, studies alternative knowledge claims about the risks of copper IUDs and HPV vaccinations, which are disseminated and discussed at the internet, especially in social media.

Research Projects

Research Teams



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

Articles in journals

Gunnarsson, L. (2018). “Excuse Me, But Are You Raping Me Now?”: Discourse and Experience in (the Grey Areas of) Sexual Violence. NORA: Nordic Journal of Feminist and Gender Research, 26 (1), 4-18.
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. , Ingen, M. v. & Martínez Dy, A. (2018). Critical Realism, Gender and Feminism: Exchanges, Challenges, Synergies. In: Lena Gunnarsson, Angela Martínez Dy, Michiel van Ingen, Gender, feminism and critical realism: Exchanges, challenges, synergies. London: Routledge.
Gunnarsson, L. (2018). Love, Feminism and Dialectics: Repairing Splits in Theory and Practice. In: Adriana García-Andrade, Lena Gunnarsson, Anna G. Jónasdóttir, Feminism and the power of love: Interdisciplinary interventions. London: Routledge.
Gunnarsson, L. , García-Andrade, A. & Jonasdottir, A. G. (2018). The Power of Love: Towards an interdisciplinary and multi-theoretical feminist love studies. In: Adriana García-Andrade, Lena Gunnarsson and Anna G. Jónasdóttir, Feminism and the power of love: Interdisciplinary Interventions. London and New York: Routledge.
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.

Collections (editor)

García-Andrade, A. (ed.) , Gunnarsson, L. (ed.) & Jonasdottir, A. G. (ed.) (2018). Feminism and the Power of Love: Interdisciplinary Interventions (1ed.). London and New York: Routledge (Routledge Advances in Feminist Studies and Intersectionality 23).
Gunnarsson, L. (ed.) , Ingen, M. v. (ed.) & Martínez Dy, A. (ed.) (2018). Gender, feminism and critical realism: Exchanges, challenges, synergies. London: Routledge.

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.