News

September 2019

New paper out by Antonia Stanojevic, Agnes Akkerman and myself:

Good Workers and Crooked Bosses: The Effect of Voice Suppression by Supervisors on Employees’ Populist Attitudes and Voting
This study is the first to explore the effect of political socialization in the workplace on populist attitudes. We investigate the effect of workplace voice suppression on employees’ populist attitudes and voting. We expect employees who were suppressed by supervisors to hold more populist attitudes and to be more likely to vote for a populist party than employees who were not. We argue that some employees experience voice suppression by supervisors as stressful, so splitting is likely to be employed as a defense mechanism. Splitting is achieved through cognitive distinction and antagonism between “the good workers” and “the crooked bosses.” Such a split mental framework can generalize into a worldview that contrasts “the pure people” and “the corrupt elite,” a core characteristic of populism. We predict that the extent to which suppression triggers splitting and consequentially incites populist attitudes and voting depends on employees’ acceptance of power distance. We test our hypotheses using SEM on survey data from 2990 members of the Dutch labor force. Our results show that experiences of voice suppression are positively related to populist attitudes and populist voting. As expected, this effect is stronger for employees who are less accepting of power distance.

Available online first from Political Psychology,
https://doi.org/10.1111/pops.12619 

August 2019

Travels with Danny

This is Danny Discontent, the mascot of the research project I am currently working on. In the project, lead by prof. dr. Agnes Akkerman, we study how experiences with voice at work influence people’s political attitudes and behaviors. Hence the project’s name:  Linking the discontented employee and the discontented citizen.

So far, I have presented (preliminary) results of the project at various national and international conferences. This month Danny and I will travel to Washington D.C. to present at the APSA Annual Meeting.

June 2017

Now online an article that I have co-authored with Dick Houtman and Peter Achterberg:

Why there is less supportive evidence for contact theory than they say there is: A quantitative cultural–sociological critique
The finding that ethnic prejudice is particularly weakly developed among those with interethnic friendships is often construed as confirming the so-called ‘contact theory,’ which holds that interethnic contact reduces racial prejudice. This theory raises cultural–sociological suspicions, however, because of its tendency to reduce culture to an allegedly ‘more fundamental’ realm of social interaction. Analyzing data from the first wave of the European Social Survey, we therefore test the theory alongside an alternative cultural–sociological theory about culturally driven processes of contact selection. We find that whereas interethnic friendships are indeed culturally driven, which confirms our cultural–sociological theory, contacts with neighbors and colleagues do indeed affect ethnic prejudice. They do so in a manner that is more complex and more culturally sensitive than contact theory suggests, however: while positive cultural stances vis-a`-vis ethnic diversity lead interethnic contact to decrease ethnic prejudice, negative ones rather lead the former to increase the latter.

Keywords: interethnic contact; ethnic prejudice; contact theory; cultural framing; quantitative methods

Available online first: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1057/s41290-017-0028-8
American Journal of Cultural Sociology (2017). doi:10.1057/s41290-017-0028-8


January 2017

Starting the 1st of February I will be working at Radboud University on a project on employee voice (principal investigator is Prof. dr. Agnes Akkerman). More information on the project will follow soon.

April 2014

voorkant gesnedenMy dissertation entitled Beyond the Ethnic Divide. Toward a Cultural-Sociological Understanding of Ethnocentrism has now been approved and printed. Please feel free to contact me if you are interested in it.

December 2013

Now available (in Dutch) an article I have co-authored with Dick Houtman and Peter Achterberg:

Als de dingen nog slechts ‘zijn’ en ‘gebeuren’
Naar een onttoverde experimentele cultuursociologie
Vanaf de jaren ’70 heeft de zogenoemde ‘crisis van de sociologie’ een intellectuele zoektocht in gang gezet naar een ‘onttoverde’ sociologie. Dat is een sociologie die onderkent dat zij niet in staat is om op grond van een vermeend wetenschappelijke inzicht in ‘de sociale werkelijkheid zoals zij werkelijk is’ uit te vaardigen wat de dingen ‘eigenlijk’ of ‘echt’ betekenen. Eén uitkomst hiervan was de opkomst en bloei van de cultuursociologie, die de door de bestudeerden zelf toegekende culturele betekenissen veel serieuzer neemt dan andere vormen van sociologie vanouds hebben gedaan. Niettegenstaande haar vitaliteit en populariteit, vertoont de hedendaagse cultuursociologie twee tekortkomingen, die allebei afbreuk doen aan haar potentiële intellectuele betekenis, zowel binnen de sociologie als daarbuiten. De eerste is de neiging om zichzelf thematisch te beperken tot de sociale aspecten van kunst, populaire cultuur en media; de tweede het overmatige en eenzijdige gebruik van etnografische en anderszins kwalitatieve onderzoeksmethoden. Daarom roept dit artikel cultuursociologen op om cultureel verrijkte experimentele onderzoeksontwerpen
te gaan gebruiken, teneinde aan niet-(cultuur)sociologen op overtuigende wijze de causale gevolgen van cultuur te kunnen demonstreren. Het geeft twee recente voorbeelden van dergelijk onderzoek, één over interculturele communicatie en één over wetenschapscommunicatie, en biedt daarnaast een bespreking van de belofte van dergelijk cultureel-experimenteel onderzoek voor vakgebieden als de psychologie en de medische wetenschap.

Published in: Tijdschrift voor Sociologie, 34(3-4), (2013).

December 2012

The first article of my PhD research has been accepted for publication in the European Sociological Review.
It studies to what extent the share of immigrants in a country influences individuals’ perceptions of ethnic threat and how this can be explained by theories of economic and cultural threat.
You can find it here: http://esr.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2011/12/02/esr.jcr085.abstract .