Karl Hedman

Assistant Professor of Sociology

Department of Behavioural Science and Social work , School of Health and Welfare

PhD in Sociology


+46 36-10 1185
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Karl Hedman is Assistant Professor of Sociology and lectures in Social Work, Global Studies and Nursing at Jönköping University. He holds a doctoral degree in Sociology from Lund University and has completed a year of graduate studies in sociology at University of California at Los Angeles. He is the author of Managing Medical Emergency Calls about people in acute crisis in calls to the Stockholm emergency center. He is a master thesis supervisor at The Jönköping Academy for Improvement of Health and Welfare.

As a member of Forum for Family and Child Research at Lund University Karl’s early research focused on pre-school children's play interaction and how children dealt with girl-boy differences and cross-sex interactions. The study was based on ethnographic fieldwork in three Swedish pre-schools including video and audio recordings made over a period of approximately two years.

His current research centres on three areas: (1) The Significance of community meeting places and friendships of older people in south Louisiana, United States, (2) Unaccompanied asylum-seeking children and adolescents in Swedish classroom interaction in junior high schools and high schools, and (3) Assistance to people in acute crisis in medical emergency calls to the Stockholm emergency center.

Karl has carried out ethnographic observational research in community meeting places including senior centers, churches and grocery stores in Baton Rouge and New Orleans between 2005-2017. In the research collaboration project Supporting At-Risk Older Persons in Swedish, Japanese and U.S. Communities: Social Ties and Health Karl, Cecilia Henning, Lars Svensson, Mary McCall and Tokie Anme examine various types of social networks and informal care supports for various groups of at-risk seniors. These include: the relationship between social participation and longevity in very-old community-residing seniors in Japan; those with varying levels of cognitive impairments in Sweden who are at risk of nursing home admission, community-dwelling elders who live alone in Sweden but participate in neighborhood meeting places who are at risk for social isolation; and social support through community meeting places for older persons in south Louisiana since Hurricane Katrina. As all of these societies age, and within environments of shrinking economic resources, the role of informal supports for older persons at risk is a critical component of maintaining independence and dignity of persons in late life. This project takes a variety of cultural and need settings and examines them through a common lens of social ties, utilizing the theory of social networks and social ties by Mark Granovetter. The concept of thin ties, how informal but regular connections with others can prevent loneliness, provide meaning, and delay nursing home admissions, is discussed. Karl is a member of SYSTED, Systed, Systems Sciences in Health-Social Services for Elderly and Disabled, and SALVE, Social challenges, Actors and Living conditions research VEnue. In 2005-2006, Karl performed crisis support work for the East Baton Rouge Parish assisting children and families from New Orleans after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in Louisiana. Karl is a member of ARN-J (Aging Research Network - Jönköping).

Karl is doing research on unaccompanied asylum seeking children and adolescents in Swedish classroom interaction in junior high schools and high schools with Ylva Lindberg, Elisabet Sandblom and Sylvi Vigmo. He is also doing research on professional coping methods with social work researcher Sandra Ferreira at University of the Free State in South Africa. With Nigel Rees, Senior Research Lead at Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust, Karl is doing research on ambulance services and suicide emergencies in Wales and Sweden. Karl is writing a book named ”Men with cancer” based on interviews with men who have had cancer.

Karl leads the courses Crisis Leadership in Social Work (master course) and Leadership in Crisis Management (bachelor course). The courses provide an understanding of strategic focus areas for crisis leadership and exposes the student to techniques and processes to construct and evaluate crisis management plans designed to prevent and respond to crisis events for human service organisations including healthcare and social services. Theories and practices of strategic and operational planning for crisis management, leadership and collaboration, crisis support and ethical concerns in relation to leadership and crises will be discussed and analysed.

He is course leader for the bachelor courses Social Work, Participation and Inclusion and Organization and leadership in social work. Karl is the course leader for Communication Perspectives and Migration and integration in Global Studies at the School of Education and Communication. He teaches in the pediatric nursing course on children in crises and disasters, violence against children and the importance of play in caring for children, in the nursing management course on leadership in crises and the global health course in the nursing programme.

In 2012, Karl was awarded the Pedagogical Award of the School of Health and Welfare.


Hedman, Karl. Kris som läranderesurs – Hur orkanen Katrina förändrade New Orleans. Geografiska Notiser Nr 1, 2017.

Hedman, Karl. Managing Emotions in Medical Emergency Calls. IMPACT Journal Nov 2 2016.

Hedman, Karl. Managing Medical Emergency Calls. Lund: Lund university (Dissertation, 2016). https://lup.lub.lu.se/search/ws/files/7712896/Karl_Hedman_webb.pdf 

Hedman, Karl, Siouta, Eleni, Hedberg, Berith, Broström, Anders, Interactional resistance between patients with atrial fibrillation and cardiologists in consultation on treatment with warfarin: the value of shared decision-making. The International Journal of Person Centered Medicine, Vol 2 Issue 3 pp 427-436.

Hedman, Karl. Samtal mellan ambulanssjuksköterska, jourhavande läkare och patient, book chapter in Pia Bülow, Daniel Persson Thunqvist & Inger Sandén (eds.), Delaktighetens praktik: det professionella samtalets villkor och möjligheter, Malmö: Gleerups Utbildning (2012). Direct link to the book: http://hj.diva-portal.org/smash/get/diva2:561012/FULLTEXT02.pdf

Karlsson, Gunilla, Hedman, Karl, Fridlund, Bengt. Views on patient safety by operations managers in somatic hospital care: a qualitative analysis, Open Journal of Nursing 1, 33-42 OJN (2011).

Hedman, Karl. Larmhanteringen vid den svåra orkanen Katrina. Signalen nr 2, 20-23. Tidningen ”För ett tryggare samhälle”, Stockholm: SOS Alarm (2007). 

Hedman, Karl. Barns lek: Könsskillnader syns tydligt. Välfärdsbulletinen. Statistiska centralbyråns tidning om arbetsliv och välfärd. Statistics Sweden, Nr 4 (1995).


Hedman, K. (2016). Managing Emotions in Swedish Medical Emergency Calls. Alicante: University of Alicante More information
Siouta, E. Hedberg, B. Hedman, K. Broström, A. (2012). Interactional resistance between patients with atrial fibrillation and cardiologists in consultation on treatment with warfarin. More information
Karlsson, G. Hedman, K. Fridlund, B. (2011). Views on patient safety by operations managers in somatic hospital care. More information


Hedman, K. (2016). Managing Medical Emergency Calls. Lund Dissertations in Sociology. Lund: Lund University Open Access More information

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