Helene Aarseth

Image of Helene Aarseth
Norwegian version of this page
Phone +47-22850511
Mobile phone +47-47015644
Room NEMKO427
Visiting address Nemko-bygget Gaustadalléen 30 0373 OSLO
Postal address Postboks 1040 Blindern 0315 OSLO

My research focuses on the modernization of the family and changes in gender relations, with a particular emphasis on what motivates moves towards greater gender equality. My last research project was a study of family cultures within the financial elites. Here, I was especially interested in finding out what lies behind the tendency towards more traditional gender relations in parts of the financial elite, given the emphasis on equality and the two income family elsewhere in the middle classes. I have also done research on how parenting practices vary in different social groups, and particularly changes in paternal practices.

I am currently working on the project Equality and Excellence in Sustainable Balance? Gender, Love and Desire for Knowledge in the Competitive University. This project focuses on how the increased marketization of academia affects the link between the desire for knowledge and investments in caring.

Academic interests

  • Gender and capitalism
  • Class and gender
  • Work and family
  • Masculinity studies
  • Critical theory, Bourdieu, feminist theory
  • Psychoanalysis and psychosocial theory
  • Narrative methods


I have recently taught the following courses at STK:


  • Interim Director, Centre for Gender Research, 2019-2020
  • Professor, Centre for Gender Research, 2016-
  • Research Director, Norwegian Social Research, 2015–2016
  • Researcher I, Norwegian Social Research, 2014–2015
  • Post Doctor, Department of Sociology and Human Geography, University of Oslo, 2010­–2014
  • Researcher II, Norwegian Institute for Social Research, 2010–2012
  • Junior Scholar, Centre for Advanced Studies, The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, 2010–2010
  • Senior Researcher, Centre for Gender Studies, University of Oslo, 2008–2009
  • University Lecturer, University of Oslo, 2007–2009
  • PhD fellow, Centre for Gender Studies, University of Oslo, 2002–2007
  • Researcher, Nordic Council of Ministers, 2002–2005
  • Advisor, Ministry of Children and Family Affairs, 1995–2002

Previous projects

  • Family Cultures in the Business Elite, Post Doc project, University of Oslo
  • Personal Development and Socio-Cultural Change, Centre for Advanced Studies
  • New family cultures, Norwegian Council of Research


  • Editor, Tidsskrift for kjønnsforskning (Norwegian Journal of Gender Research), 2017-2018.


  • Journal article of the year, Tidsskrift for kjønnsforskning 2010
  • Journal article of the year, Tidsskrift for kjønnsforskning 2014
  • Chronicle of the year, Norsk sosiologforening 2014
  • Shortlisted for The Sociological Review's Prize for Outstanding Scholarship, 2016
Tags: Feminist theory, Class, Family, Critical theory, Bourdieu, Masculinities


  • Aarseth, Helene (2022). The implicit epistemology of metric governance. New conceptions of motivational tensions in the corporate university. Critical Studies in Education. ISSN 1750-8487. doi: 10.1080/17508487.2022.2037680. Full text in Research Archive
  • Song, Minji & Aarseth, Helene (2021). Privilegert tilhørighet? Kosmopolitiske orienteringer i en trygg velferdsstat. In Bostad, Inga (Eds.), Å høre hjemme i verden. Introduksjon til en pedagogisk hjemstedsfilosofi.. Spartacus. ISSN 978-82-304-0291-7. p. 285–310.
  • Aarseth, Helene (2020). Against the grain? The craving for domestic femininity in a gender-egalitarian welfare state. The European Journal of Women's Studies. ISSN 1350-5068. doi: 10.1177/1350506820970241. Full text in Research Archive
  • Bach, Dil & Aarseth, Helene (2019). Lyst til læring. Fra nordisk modkultur til transnational præstationsstrategi. Dansk pædagogisk tidsskrift. ISSN 0904-2393. 3, p. 55–66.
  • Aarseth, Helene (2018). Familie og intimitet i endring – sosiologiske perspektiver. Fokus på familien. ISSN 0332-5415. 46(2), p. 84–102. doi: 10.18261/issn.0807-7487-2018-01-02.
  • Aarseth, Helene (2017). Fear of Falling – Fear of Fading: The Emotional Dynamics of Positional and Personalised Individualism. Sociology. ISSN 0038-0385. doi: 10.1177/0038038517730219. Full text in Research Archive
  • Olsvold, Aina; Aarseth, Helene & Bondevik, Hilde (2017). ‘I think my son is a wonderful chap’: Working-class and middle-class fathers’ narratives of their son’s ADHD diagnosis and medication . Families, Relationships and Societies. ISSN 2046-7435. 8(1), p. 105–120. doi: 10.1332/204674317X15034051559819. Full text in Research Archive
  • Bøhler, Kjetil Klette & Aarseth, Helene (2016). Følelsenes politiske potensial. Agora. ISSN 0800-7136. 1(1), p. 299–311.
  • bach, Anna Sofie & Aarseth, Helene (2016). Adaptation, equality, and fairness. Towards a sociological understanding of ‘the supportive husband'. Norma - International Journal for Masculinity Studies. ISSN 1890-2138. 11(3), p. 174–189. doi: 10.1080/18902138.2016.1217692.
  • Lucey, Helen; Olsvold, Aina & Aarseth, Helene (2016). Working class fathers and daughters: Thinking about desire, identification, gender and education. Psychoanalysis, Culture & Society. ISSN 1088-0763. 21(2), p. 128–146. doi: 10.1057/pcs.2015.42.
  • Aarseth, Helene (2016). Eros in the field? Bourdieu's double account of socialized desire. Sociological Review. ISSN 0038-0261. 64(1), p. 93–109. doi: 10.1111/1467-954X.12348.
  • Aarseth, Helene; Layton, Lynne & Nielsen, Harriet Bjerrum (2016). Conflicts in the habitus: The emotional work of becoming modern. Sociological Review. ISSN 0038-0261. 64(1), p. 148–165. doi: 10.1111/1467-954X.12347.
  • Aarseth, Helene (2015). A sound Foundation? Financial elite families and egalitarian schooling in Norway. In Maxwell, Claire & Aggleton, Peter (Ed.), Elite Education. International Perspectives. Routledge. ISSN 978-1-138-79961-5. p. 79–91. doi: 10.4324/9781315755984-7.
  • Aarseth, Helene (2014). Finanskapitalismens kjønnsromantikk. Næringslivselitens kjønnskomplementære familiekultur. Tidsskrift for kjønnsforskning. ISSN 0809-6341. 38(3-4).
  • Aarseth, Helene (2014). Lyst til læring eller «fit for fight»? Middelklassefamiliens læringskulturer. In Nielsen, Harriet Bjerrum (Eds.), Forskjeller i klassen. Nye perspektiver på kjønn, klasse og etnisitet i skolen. Universitetsforlaget. ISSN 978-82-15-02327-4. p. 142–160.
  • Aarseth, Helene & Andersen, Lotte (2012). Den likestilte familien i et klasseperspektiv: Mellom selvutfoldelse og felleskap. In Ellingsæter, Anne Lise & Widerberg, Karin (Ed.), Velferdsstatens familier. Nye sosiologiske perspektiver. Gyldendal Akademisk. ISSN 9788205425002. p. 191–210.

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  • Aarseth, Helene & Owesen, Ingeborg Winderen (2022). Kjønn og akademia: På vei mot BALANSE? Fagbokforlaget. ISBN 9788245044102. 263 p.

View all works in Cristin

  • Aarseth, Helene (2021). Internasjonalisering som akademisk monokultur. Morgenbladet. ISSN 0805-3847.
  • Aarseth, Helene & Lund, Rebecca Waters Boldsen (2021). Rethinking Historical Materialist Feminism and its Psychosocial Conception.
  • Aarseth, Helene (2021). Hvor står kjønns- og likestillingsforskningen i dag?
  • Aarseth, Helene (2020). Er kjønnsforskningen i ferd med å gi opp sitt prosjekt om å endre samfunnet? Kilden kjønnsforskning.
  • Aarseth, Helene (2020). Eros, Gender and Epistemic Governance? Exploring the psycho-social dynamics of the competitive university.
  • Aarseth, Helene (2020). Kjønn, kjærlighet og kunnskapsbegjær i det kompetitive universitet.
  • Aarseth, Helene (2019). Kjønn, kjærlighet og kunnskapsbegjær: Nye spenninger mellom hverdagslivets demokratisering og akademias instrumentalisering? .
  • Aarseth, Helene (2019). Når kjønn blir politikk. [Internet]. Agenda Magasin.
  • Aarseth, Helene (2018). The other side of finance? Exploring the cult of domesticity among financial elite families.
  • Aarseth, Helene & Orning, Sara Elisabeth Sellevold (2018). Leder Tidsskrift for kjønnsforskning nr. 4. Tidsskrift for kjønnsforskning. ISSN 0809-6341.
  • Aarseth, Helene; Orning, Sara Elisabeth Sellevold & Helseth, Hannah (2018). Leder Tidsskrift for kjønnsforskning nr. 3. Tidsskrift for kjønnsforskning. ISSN 0809-6341. p. 1–3.
  • Aarseth, Helene & Orning, Sara Elisabeth Sellevold (2018). Leder Tidsskrift for kjønnsforskning nr. 1-2. Tidsskrift for kjønnsforskning. ISSN 0809-6341. p. 1–2.
  • Aarseth, Helene (2018). Exposed to and invested in the world:the revival of Frankfurt School Theory of praxis and it’s feminist potential.
  • Aarseth, Helene (2018). Exploring the cult of domesticity in Norwegian financial elite families: the theory of love power revisited .
  • Aarseth, Helene; Anving, Terese & Bach, Dil (2018). Farewell to the universal caregiver model? Emergent patterns in Nordic upper-middle-class families .
  • Aarseth, Helene (2018). Intensive parenting in todays’ Scandinavian Countries. The end of Egalitarianism? .
  • Aarseth, Helene (2018). Enda mer kostbar hjemmefelle. [Business/trade/industry journal]. Kapital.
  • Aarseth, Helene (2018). Fra samfunnsendring til marginaliseringsfetisjisme? En historie om norsk kjønnssosiologi.
  • Aarseth, Helene (2018). Høyrepopulisme og mangfold i kjønnsforskningen. KILDEN : informasjonssenter for kjønnsforskning.
  • Aarseth, Helene (2018). Jeg er jernmannen som bare fyker rundt og leverer penger hver måned. [Newspaper]. Dagens Næringsliv.
  • Aarseth, Helene (2018). Presses til å velge penger og jobb foran barna. [Newspaper]. Dagens Næringsliv.
  • Aarseth, Helene (2018). Erfaring, subjektivitet og psykoanalyse.
  • Aarseth, Helene (2017). Den rette lære i akademia. Klassekampen. ISSN 0805-3839. p. 16–17.
  • Aarseth, Helene & Orning, Sara Elisabeth Sellevold (2017). 40 år med kvinne- og kjønnsforskning. Tidsskrift for kjønnsforskning. ISSN 0809-6341. 41(4), p. 222–226. doi: 10.18261/issn.1891-1781-2017-04-01.
  • Aarseth, Helene (2017). Eros in the Field? Bourdieu's Double Account of Socialized Desire. [Internet]. The Sociological Review website.
  • Aarseth, Helene (2017). The Gendered Romantic of Financialised Capitalism.
  • Aarseth, Helene (2017). Kjønnsavdelingen 10 – Økonomi: Deltidsfella, tidsklemma og ulønna omsorgsarbeid. [Internet]. Kjønnsavdelingen Kilden Norges Forskningsråd.
  • Orning, Sara Elisabeth Sellevold & Aarseth, Helene (2017). Leder i Tidsskrift for kjønnsforskning nr. 3/2017. Tidsskrift for kjønnsforskning. ISSN 0809-6341. 3.
  • Orning, Sara Elisabeth Sellevold & Aarseth, Helene (2017). Leder i Tidsskrift for kjønnsforskning nr. 2/2017. Tidsskrift for kjønnsforskning. ISSN 0809-6341. 2.
  • Orning, Sara Elisabeth Sellevold & Aarseth, Helene (2017). Leder i Tidsskrift for kjønnsforskning nr. 1/2017. Tidsskrift for kjønnsforskning. ISSN 0809-6341. 1.
  • Aarseth, Helene (2017). Feeling Gender - a comment.
  • Aarseth, Helene (2017). Feministisk tilegnelse av Bourdieu. sosiologen.no.
  • Aarseth, Helene (2017). Menn føler fortsatt forsørgeransvar. [Internet]. Kjønnsforskning.no.
  • Aarseth, Helene (2016). Julekveldskrisa. [Newspaper]. D2.
  • Aarseth, Helene (2016). Me som fryktar kjærleiken. [Newspaper]. Universitas.
  • Aarseth, Helene (2016). Forsker mener storstilte og foreldreorganiserte halloweenfeiringer bør forstås i en større sammenheng. [Internet]. Aftenposten.
  • Aarseth, Helene (2016). Habitus and Social Science: a Virtual Roundtable. [Internet]. The Sociological Review website.
  • Aarseth, Helene (2016). Den moderne familien.
  • Aarseth, Helene & Bøhler, Kjetil Klette (2016). Political Emotions, why love matters for justice. Agora. ISSN 0800-7136. 33/34(4), p. 299–312.
  • Aarseth, Helene (2016). Likestillingsombudet om russeseks: veldig provoserende at det skjer. [Internet]. Aftenposten.
  • Aarseth, Helene (2016). Jeg klarer oftere å nyte små øyeblikk med barna. Det er fordi jeg har mer tid. [Internet]. Aftenposten.no.
  • Aarseth, Helene (2016). Normer for familieliv og foreldreskap i et klasseperspektiv.
  • Aarseth, Helene (2015). 'Go for gold' or 'incessant enrichment'. Intensive parenting in academic and the financial elite families in Norway.
  • Aarseth, Helene (2015). «Årets artikkel» handler om finanselitens kjønnsstereotype familieliv. [Internet]. Kilden.no.
  • Aarseth, Helene (2015). Masculinity, family and the rejection of gender equality. The case of financial elite couples in Norway.
  • Aarseth, Helene (2015). Samtidsdiagnose: I målemaniens tid. sosiologen.no.
  • Aarseth, Helene (2015). Tilfredse og stressa? [Business/trade/industry journal]. Khrono.
  • Aarseth, Helene (2015). Academic career and Family life in Norway.
  • Aarseth, Helene (2015). Prepared for the race?
  • Aarseth, Helene (2015). Tenåringene som liker foreldrene. [Newspaper]. Adresseavisa.
  • Aarseth, Helene (2015). Konkurranse er alfa og omega. [Newspaper]. Dagens Næringsliv.
  • Aarseth, Helene (2015). Lever vi i en tidsklemme? Hvorfor opplever foreldre og familier stress og tidspress, og hvordan påvirker det oss?
  • Aarseth, Helene (2015). Emotional Elites.
  • Aarseth, Helene (2015). Middelklassefamiliens læringskulturer.
  • Aarseth, Helene (2015). Hei, foreldre – dere er tidenes beste! [Newspaper]. Aftenposten, Oppvekst.
  • Aarseth, Helene (2015). Kliss like. [Newspaper]. VG Helg.
  • Aarseth, Helene (2014). Socialized subjectivity.
  • Aarseth, Helene (2014). Parenting and Class.
  • Aarseth, Helene (2014). Kjønnsdelte drømmer må tas alvorlig. Aftenposten (morgenutg. : trykt utg.). ISSN 0804-3116.
  • Aarseth, Helene (2014). Finanskapitalens kjønnsromantikk.
  • Aarseth, Helene (2014). Familien og ungdommen.
  • Aarseth, Helene (2014). Elite parenting and egalitarian schooling in Norway.
  • Aarseth, Helene (2014). Luksus-smellen. [Newspaper]. VG Helg.
  • Aarseth, Helene (2014). Vil ruste barna til møtet med en tøff verden. [Newspaper]. Vårt Land.
  • Aarseth, Helene (2014). Hjemmeværende elitemødre produserer samfunnets vinnere. [Internet]. Kilden.
  • Aarseth, Helene (2014). De opplever at verden er et røft sted hvor barna deres må beskyttes. [Newspaper]. Aftenposten.
  • Aarseth, Helene & Bråten, Beret (2014). Høyt henger de - og marginaliserte er de? Om vurderingshierarkier i kjønns-, klasse- og minoritetsforskningen. Bulletine. ISSN 1891-1420. p. 14–16.
  • Aarseth, Helene (2014). Hvordan løser dagens foreldre tidsklemma?
  • Aarseth, Helene (2013). De nye barneorienterte fedrene. In Brandth, Berit & Kvande, Elin (Ed.), Fedrekvoten og den farsvennlige velferdsstaten. Universitetsforlaget. ISSN 978-82-15-02189-8. p. 238–250.
  • Aarseth, Helene (2013). "Family Cultures and Pedagogical Practices among the Cultural and Economic Elite in Norway".
  • Aarseth, Helene (2013). Lyst til læring eller fit for fight? Middelklassefamiliens læringskulturer.
  • Aarseth, Helene (2013). Linn Stalsberg: Er jeg fri nå? Tidsklemte kvinner i verdens beste land. Sosiologi i dag. ISSN 0332-6330. 43(4).
  • Aarseth, Helene (2013). Parental Investments and fears of falling in the business and the academic elite.
  • Aarseth, Helene (2013). Nye familiekulturer i Norge.
  • Aarseth, Helene (2013). Næringslivselitens familiekulturer.
  • Aarseth, Helene (2013). Husarbeid - kvinners revir?
  • Aarseth, Helene (2013). Tråkker på hverdagslykken. [Newspaper]. Aftenposten.
  • Aarseth, Helene (2012). Familiefiendtlig forskning. [Internet]. Kjønnsbalanse i forskning.
  • Aarseth, Helene (2012). Husarbeid i Limbo? Emosjonelle investeringer i post-husmorfamilien.
  • Aarseth, Helene & Solheim, Jorun (2012). Nye familiekulturer. Kjønnede livsprosjekter og intimitetsformer i omforming.
  • Aarseth, Helene (2012). Family Cultures and the Feel for the Game: Anxieties and Desires in the Academic and the Business Elite.
  • Nielsen, Harriet Bjerrum; Aarseth, Helene & Layton, Lynne (2012). Conflicts in the habitus: the emotional work of becoming modern.
  • Aarseth, Helene (2012). Tilbake til husmorfamilien? [Radio]. NRK Østlandssendingen.

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Published Aug. 25, 2016 2:11 PM - Last modified Sep. 9, 2022 11:27 AM