Jeroen van der Waal

Sociologist Jeroen van der Waal (Ph.D. Erasmus University Rotterdam, 2010) is full professor of Sociology of Stratification at Erasmus University Rotterdam, Fellow at Erasmus University College, and a member of the Erasmus Graduate School of Social Sciences and the Humanities, and Young Erasmus. His research is predominantly located in the fields of political sociology and sociology of health. You can contact him to get in touch.


Latest publications

Improving Empirical Scrutiny of the Habitus: A Plea for Incorporating Implicit Association Tests in Sociological Research

Julian Schaap, Jeroen van der Waal & Willem de Koster

Sociology (forthcoming)


Many studies invoke the concept of the Bourdieusian habitus to account for a plethora of stratified patterns uncovered by conventional social-scientific methods. However, as a stratum-specific, embodied and largely non-declarative set of dispositions, the role of the habitus in those stratified patterns is typically not adequately scrutinised empirically. Instead, the habitus is often attributed theoretically to an empirically established link between stratification indicators and an outcome of interest. In this research note, we argue that combining conventional methods in stratification research with latency-based measures such as the Implicit Association Test (IAT) enables better measurement of the habitus. This sociological application of IATs enables researchers to: 1) identify empirically the existence of different habitus among different social strata; and 2) determine their role in the stratified patterns to which they have thus far been attributed theoretically.

The Educational Gradient in Trust in Politicians in the Netherlands: A Status-Based Cultural Conflict

Kjell Noordzij, Jeroen van der Waal & Willem de Koster

The Sociological Quarterly


Much of the educational gradient in trust in politicians remains unexplained by prevailing theories on material resources and institutional knowledge. Our novel explanation theorizes that: in its relationship with trust in politicians, education is a status indicator; and the lower trust in politicians among the less educated reflects the latter’s opposition to the former’s status signaling. Analyses of representative Dutch survey data (n = 1,296) demonstrate that indicators of affinity with elite culture do indeed largely underlie the association between the level of education and trust in politicians. We discuss the relevance of our findings for debates on “culture wars.”


Euroscepticism among Dutch Leftist and Rightist Populist Constituencies: How Can the U-curve be Understood?

Samira van Bohemen, Willem de Koster & Jeroen van der Waal

JCMS: Journal of Common Market Studies, 1-17


The U‐curve in euroscepticism is well established: both leftist and rightist populist constituencies are more eurosceptic than voters for establishment parties. Using rich survey data on a country with both constituencies represented in parliament (the Netherlands; n=1,296), we examine why euroscepticism drives populist voting. Our analyses demonstrate that euroscepticism is part of the well‐established link between both 1) distrust in politics and politicians, and 2) support for protectionism on the one hand, and voting for both types of populist party on the other. It is also part of the well‐known relationship between 3) ethnocentrism and rightist populist voting. Surprisingly, euroscepticism is not part of the typical association between economic egalitarianism and voting for a leftist populist party. The concluding section discusses the implications of our findings and provides suggestions for further research.