June 13, 2023

Thijs Bol has been appointed professor of Sociology at the University of Amsterdam’s Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences. In particular, he will focus on Social Stratification and Inequality: ‘Sociological theories are my toolbox to better understand inequality’.

Bol has been researching inequality since 2013. He also teaches several courses in the Sociology Bachelor’s and Master’s programmes. The ‘Social Stratification and Inequality’ chair offers him the opportunity to continue his research on inequality, while also contributing to social discourse. ‘For example, when I talk about my research at a birthday, almost everyone thinks it makes sense that people with a university education earn more than those with a senior secondary vocational education diploma. But why is that really the case? why do we think such inequality is the norm?’

Consciousness

Bol’s research has already shown that much inequality arises from processes over which individuals have little control, such as the family they are born into. ‘A lot of inequality is explained as being merit-based: people who have more of something can do more or have worked harder. But my research shows that a significant portion of inequality has nothing to do with that. I think this realisation – that your influence on where you end up is limited – is very important for a more inclusive society,’ said the brand-new professor.

New forms of data

With his chair, Bol will focus mainly on inequality in education, the labour market and science. He wants to gain a better understanding of when inequalities start and how they change over time. Why do children in education not have equal opportunities, and how does this develop? Why will a scientist who has received a grant also receive more funding in the future?

To answer such questions, he will also try to tap new data sources. ‘In my research on inequality, I primarily use large-scale quantitative data. Data from Statistics Netherlands’ (CBS) population registers are extremely valuable here. They are very detailed, which can offer a lot of insight into when inequalities arise and how they change over time.’

 

About Thijs Bol

Thijs Bol has been an associate professor of Sociology at the UvA since 2017. In 2020, he received a Starting Grant from the European Research Council, with which he and his team have been investigating how labour market inequality changes over the course of careers. Bol is vice president of The Young Academy, a part of the Royal Academy of Sciences, of which he has been a member since 2020.

 

UvA. (2023, 13 juni). Thijs Bol benoemd tot hoogleraar Sociologie. uva.nl. Geraadpleegd op 7 september 2023, van https://www.uva.nl/shared-content/faculteiten/nl/faculteit-der-maatschappij-en-gedragswetenschappen/nieuws/2023/06/thijs-bol-benoemd-tot-hoogleraar-sociologie.html

October 10, 2022

Loes Keijsers has been appointed full professor Clinical Child and Family Studies at Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR), Department of Psychology, Education, and Child Studies, with effect from 1 November 2020.

Happy and functioning adults are important for a resilient society. The foundation is laid in childhood, among other things in upbringing. But not every child reacts in the same way to his or her social environment. In the coming years, Loes Keijsers will pay attention to the developing child and its environment in her research and education.

For example, she will investigate how each individual child reacts to his or her parents, or to the use of social media. For this she uses new methods, such as measuring emotions and experiences in daily life with smartphones. This is also called Experience Sampling. She translates these scientific insights into practical applications such as eHealth apps, which she does together with young people and other end users. Together with Erasmus MC, she recently launched the GrowIt! app, which supports young people in dealing with negative emotions in daily life during the Corona crisis.

May 2, 2022

The consortium ‘Growing Up Together in Society (GUTS)’, led by Prof. Eveline Crone of Erasmus University Rotterdam, will receive 22 million euros. Minister Dijkgraaf makes this funding available to scientific consortia that can compete in the world top with groundbreaking research.

The aim of this project is to discover how young people can grow up successfully and contribute to the present and future society. ‛Growing up successfully is a puzzle,’ explains Eveline Crone, Professor of Developmental Neuroscience in Society. ‛Research into brain development in young people is mostly individually focused. But a child does not grow up individually; it is part of systems of family, friends, school and societal norms. That is why it has great added value to connect knowledge about this.’

The consortium of psychologists, sociologists, child psychiatrists and neuroscientists, which also includes the University of Amsterdam, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam UMC, Leiden University, University of Groningen, Utrecht University, Radboudumc and Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience, has been working for five years. ‛People think about interdisciplinary cooperation too easily, but you really have to learn to speak each other’s language and trust each other. That is what we have invested in and that is how you get breakthroughs.’

‘Erasmus University is the best place for this’

Crone: ‛We really do this for young people. The corona crisis has taken its toll. It’s not enough to catch up, they have to grow up really successfully and that means more than scores; it’s also about welfare, contributions and involvement in society.’ A unique aspect is the addition of youth panels, young people themselves thinking about what is important for their generation. The research focuses on learning together in education, social networks such as friendships and young people who have been in contact with the law at an early age. Throughout this, there is a focus on social inequality. ‛Erasmus University is the best place for this, this is in the DNA of the university,’ says Crone. ‛I am very fortunate to be able to do this here for the next ten years.’

Research of international top level

The Gravitation programme is implemented by NWO on behalf of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science. Seven consortiums were ultimately selected from 40 applications. Researchers can carry out top-level university research and multidisciplinary collaboration for ten years. Minister Robbert Dijkgraaf: ‛For top-level international research, peace and quiet are essential. With this major boost we are offering long-term prospects and adequate funding to collaborating excellent research groups. Researchers from these scientific consortia, who are among the world’s best in their field, can use Gravitation to work on groundbreaking research.’