Marie Flinkfeldt

Senior Lecturer/Associate Professor at Department of social work; Faculty

+46 18 471 50 98
Mobile phone:
+46 70 167 94 16
Visiting address:
Engelska parken
Thunbergsvägen 3H
Postal address:
Box 624
751 26 UPPSALA

Short presentation

Marie Flinkfeldt is Associate Professor (docent) and senior lecturer at the Department of Social Work at Uppsala University. Her research focuses on client-professional interaction in various welfare settings, with a particular interest in issues relating to categorization, equality, digitalization, and various social problems.


Marie Flinkfeldt is Associate Professor (docent) in social work and holds a Ph.D. in sociology. Her research is primarily concerned with institutional interaction across the welfare state. She has published research on interaction between professionals and clients in social work, healthcare, public administration, NGOs, and commercial customer service. Her research spans topics such as gender, equality, intimate partner violence, parenthood, old age, health problems, and poverty.

Flinkfeldt received her PhD at Uppsala University in 2016. Her thesis, "Legitimacy Work: Managing Sick Leave Legitimacy in Interaction", used discursive psychology, conversation analysis and membership categorization analysis to examine naturally occurring interaction in two settings: an online forum thread featuring people on long-term sick leave, and regular sick leave 'status' meetings at the Swedish Social Insurance Agency. The thesis theoretically developed the empirically driven concept "legitimacy work" and showed how sick leave legitimacy is collaboratively accomplished in the fine details of talk and text.

Flinkfeldt has been a postdoctoral researcher at Uppsala University and Umeå University, and a recurring visiting scholar at Loughborough University and University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB). Since April 2020, she works at the Department of social work at Uppsala University where she is a senior lecturer.

She leads the Higher seminar at the Department of social work and is a member of the steering committee of the cross-disciplinary Conversation Lab at Uppsala University (for which she coordinates bi-weekly data sessions). She is also a founding member of the steering committee for the Conversation analysis and social work ‘special interest group’ at the European Social Work Research Association (ESWRA), and founding co-chair of the working group Critical welfare research at the Swedish Sociological Association.

Flinkfeldt is PI of the project "Equal terms: Manifestations of inequality in parents’ contacts with the Social Insurance Agency about parental leave", funded by Forte (2018-2023). She is also co-PI of three ongoing projects funded by Forte: a) "Meaningful conversations in the sunset years: Developing suicide preventive communication tools for productive responses to older helpline callers" (2023-2026, with Clara Iversen; b) “Asking about violence: Organizational strategies and professional communicative practice at the Swedish Social Insurance Agency” (2023-2027, with Stina Fernqvist; c) “Responses to Suicidality in Social Service Interventions: A Knowledge Inventory on Suicide Prevention in Ageing and Disability” (2024-2026, with Clara Iversen).

She has also been co-PI of two projects with research funding from the Swedish Social Insurance Agency: a) "Speaking of Money: Problem presentation, service and response when families with children call the Social Insurance Agency" (2016-2019, with Elisabet Näsman), and b) "When the Social Insurance Agency must deal with new social problems: Maintenance support case officers’ strategies to assess and respond to intimate partner violence" (2020-2021, with Stina Fernqvist).

Flinkfeldt is the course coordinator for the social work programme course Welfare state, social work and social policy in contemporary Sweden and also teaches Conversation and communication in social work, as well as supervises PhD candidates and Master students.

Research interests:
Interaction in the welfare state
Social problems, social categorization, and social policy
Membership categorization, discursive psychology, conversation analysis
Qualitative methods


Selection of publications

Recent publications

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Marie Flinkfeldt