Department of Sociology

Caitlin Carroll

M.A., Political Science, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Caitlin Carroll



gender and violence; sexual violence; gender and sexuality; feminist criminology


My dissertation investigates what has been called the "Nordic paradox," or the high rate of gender-based violence in countries with high levels of gender equality. Using Sweden as a case, I interrogate the meaning, causes, and consequences of high rates of sexual violence in the country. Through in-depth interviews with anti-violence activists, state bureaucrats, social service providers, and criminal justice professionals, my dissertation challenges the ways in which sexual violence is understood from a socio-legal perspective. My findings suggest that the high rate of sexual violence in Sweden is not necessarily a paradox, but rather a precondition to gender equality: Swedish women are able to not only name their experiences of sexual violence as such, they are also more likely to disclose and report to official state institutions. My research contributes to a better understanding of how rape is defined by the state and how state institutions envision and implement their role in addressing the problem and finding justice for victim-survivors.

My dissertation fieldwork was funded by a Graduate Research Fellowship from the American-Scandinavian Foundation and a grant from the Swedish Excellence Endowment at UT-Austin. I am also a 2019-20 recipient of the P.E.O. International Scholar Award. I am currently a visiting PhD researcher at the Centre for Gender Research at Uppsala University. 

You can read more about my research, teaching, and publications here:

Curriculum Vitae

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  • Department of Sociology

    The University of Texas at Austin
    305 E 23rd St, A1700
    RLP 3.306
    Austin, TX 78712-1086