Hjördis is a social researcher with an interest in globalisation, migration, integration, sustainable lifestyle, green growth and social innovation, among many other things. She likes working in the intersection between research, policy and practice. She is specialised in human geography and sociology.
Master in science, Human geography (Globalisation, environment and social change), Stockholm University
Bachelor of Art in Sociology, University of Iceland
News reporter at RÚV (The Icelandic broadcasting service), Reykjavík Iceland
News reporter at Stöð 2 (Channel 2)
Editor in chief at Nýtt Líf (Women’s magazine)
Journalist at Mannlíf (News magazine)
Journalist at Fréttablaðið
Hjördís Rut Sigurjónsdóttir‘s spatial story
From Hella to Stockholm
Working with migration and rural issues I find it easy to feel at home with these topics, a least partly
Growing up in the village of Hella Iceland, with just over 600 inhabitants, I have experienced being part of small community where every single person counts. In a community where everyone knows everyone, with both advantages and disadvantages. Organized leisure was scarce and everyone had to find their own way to keep themselves entertained. Nature stepped in at times to break up the everyday life and I have memories, coming home from school sitting by the only window, in the house, facing the volcano Hekla to watch the ongoing eruption. Another memory is lying next to a sled at the bottom of a hill making a snow angel under the northern lights. All places have something special to offer.
From the village I followed the route to the city like many others, after spending one year in the United States. After moving around quite a bit in Reykjavik I became a migrant, when moving to Stockholm. Maybe not a radical change but still a new country and a new language. I got to experience having my Swedish corrected by my five and eight year old kids who can be strict teachers but also honest and encouraging. Feeling confident one day I went fishing for compliment for my Swedish skills, received the honest and diplomatic answer “Yes mom, you know a lot of words, but it is sometime weird how you say them”.
The transition from Iceland to Sweden has been smooth, due to rather similar culture, language and education, but the migration still offers the challenge to integrate which allows me to better understand those who have a greater transition to go through. Despite rather small cultural differences I do have transnational way of living, where I try to follow news and national political debate in Sweden to understand the country I life in. However, some part of my life still happens in Iceland where family and friends live, and I find relief in turning on the Icelandic radio where I don’t have to listen, I just hear what is said. With better understanding of the Swedish language I also enjoy more and more the selection of great media production as well as conversation with friends in Sweden even though I have to listen more carefully. With close connection to Icelandic friends, living in Stockholm it is hard to deny how relieving it can be to speak your native language and connect on the mutual grounds, as members of Iceland’s small population. Integration involves all kinds of steps and participation and who knows what forms my integration will take in the future; maybe I will one day be the chairman of the residence association (where I live).
Related Research Projects
- Share the Care
- Regional Economic and Social Resilience
- Digitalisation as a tool for sustainable Nordic regional development
- Enhancing labour opportunities for women in the Nordic countries
- Nordic collaboration for integration of refugees and migrants
- Long-term planning for inclusive cities in the Nordic region
- Rural attractiveness in Norden
- Study on taxation in support of green transition
- How does place impact the possibility to follow restrictions during corona times? (PORECO)
- Policies and measures for speeding up labour market integration of refugees in the Nordic region: A knowledge overview
- Fler flyktingar fortare i arbete – Åtgärder för snabbare etablering på arbetsmarknaden
- From migrants to workers: Regional and local practices on integration of labour migrants and refugees in rural areas in the Nordic countries
- From migrants to workers: Immigration and integration at the local level in the Nordic countries
- Regional Economic and Social Resilience: An Exploratory In-Depth Study in the Nordic Countries