Aimée Ekman

Senior Lecturer Social Work
International coordinator Social Work Program
Department of Social work , School of Health and Welfare


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Aimée Ekman’s main research concerns experiences and socio-cultural perspectives of body size in general, and more specifically, individuals’ own theorizations of body size and fatness. Her theoretical interests revolve around social order, social subordination, social processes and different forms of action and interaction. She has broad methodological experience of qualitative methods with an emphasis on grounded theory, ethnographic methods, and qualitative interviews.

As a researcher, Aimée participates in diverse multidisciplinary research groups, including colleagues from other disciplines, universities, and professions. Together with colleagues at JU and five other Swedish universities, Aimée is involved in a longitudinal study exploring health-promoting factors among higher education students within healthcare and social work. Another current research project explores perceptions and explanations of body size and health among women in Khayelitsha, a South African Township. She is also engaged in developing two new research projects: the first concerns collaboration between actors within health care and social services. The second is an intervention project aiming to explore processes in relation to the implementation of internationalization at home at the School of Health and Welfare, JU. 


Aimée Ekman serves as a senior lecturer in social work at the School of Health Sciences, Jönköping University. She has a master’s in Social Anthropology from Linköping University and have done ethnographic field work in Khayelitsha, a township of Cape Town. Aimée received her Ph.D. in health and society at Linköping University 2012. In her Ph.D. Aimée introduces a critically oriented and empirically grounded theorization of ‘The Weight Order’ as a complement to theories of more widely recognized and studied ordering systems. The weight order includes everybody, and order people horizontally and vertically based on body size/weight. People with fat bodies tends to be subordinated by this system.



Larsson, M. Ahlstrand, I. Larsson, I. Lood, Q. Hammar, I. Sundler, A. , ... Hallgren J. (2024). Occupational balance and associated factors among students during higher education within healthcare and social work in Sweden: a multicentre repeated cross-sectional study BMJ Open, 14(4). More information
Ekman, A. (2023). Theorising fatness as an ordering issue: A conceptual framework for analysing the construction of fatness as disorder Body & Society, 29(4), 79-104. More information
Ahlstrand, I. Larsson, I. Larsson, M. Ekman, A. Hedén, L. Laakso, K. , ... Hallgren J. (2022). Health-promoting factors among students in higher education within health care and social work: a cross-sectional analysis of baseline data in a multicentre longitudinal study BMC Public Health, 22(1). More information
Lindmark, U. Ahlstrand, I. Ekman, A. Berg, L. Hedén, L. Källstrand, J. , ... Larsson I. (2020). Health-promoting factors in higher education for a sustainable working life – protocol for a multicenter longitudinal study BMC Public Health, 20(1), 1-8. More information
Ekman, A. (2018). Theorizing failure: explanations regarding weight regain among people with fat bodies Social Theory & Health, 16(3), 272-291. More information
Ekman, A., Richt, B. (2013). Tonvikt på vikt tungt för de tyngsta Läkartidningen, 110(38), 1679-1680. More information
Ekman, A., Richt, B. (2013). Viktordningen – ett analytiskt perspektiv Sociologisk forskning, 50(3-4), 223-245. More information

Doctoral thesis

Ekman, A. (2012). Ett fett liv: En artikulering av viktordningen på bas av överviktiga människors erfarenheter (Doctoral thesis, Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press). More information

Conference paper

Baert, V., Ekman, A., Panciroli, C., Agache, L., Moutard, J. (2023). Service user's involvement in Social work education in Belgium, France, Italy, and Sweden: the SWEET project. 12th European Conference for Social Work Research (ESWRA 2023), 12-14 April 2023, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milan, Italy. More information
Ekman, A. (2023). Everybody has the Right Size: Beliefs about Body Size among Big-Bodied Women in a South African Township. Discourses of fatness and fat bodies: between social justice, health, and culture, 24th-25th May 2023, University of Jyväskylä, Finland. More information

Other publications

Weissova, L., Rusaw, D., Johansson, P., Ekman, A. (2022). The implementation and measurement of internationalisation of the curriculum at home in higher education institutions: a scoping review [protocol]. Jönköping: Jönköping University More information