Nov.23

Throwback Thursday

Last week, Tilburg University organized Night University. A unique event to give back to society. The Dutch team of the European Values Study was evidently present, as the theme of the evening was “Back to the Future“. Pictures on Instagram below show that this theme was quite visible on campus: the organization were even able to get their hands on a few DeLorean time machine cars!

Because of the theme, we decided to present on the question whether younger people these days have become more conservative – i.e. less postmaterialist – than age cohorts decades back. At least in the US, this concerns seem to be widely shared, not in the least because since the election of Donald Trump. After crunching several waves of the EVS, we showed that young people show, generally, more postmaterialistic values than the same cohorts several decades ago. There is, however, one difference. On the so-called Inglehart materialist-postmaterialist survey items, there is a shift towards more materialist responses. As we are presently collecting new EVS-data, we can update in a few months whether this shift towards materialism among younger age cohorts was an anomaly, or whether value change has been initiated already one decade ago.

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Nov.08

EVS at Night University

On Thursday 16 November 2017, Tilburg University will turn into Night University. Science and society are brought together during this annual fun event. Whereas I was hosting karaoke with Peter Achterberg the last two years, this year I will bring in a more academic focus. In a joint talk with Loek Halman, I will talk about generational effects in social values, based on the European Values Study: is it true that young people are becoming more conservative than their parents? Loek and I will be present in room SZ 31 (Simon Building) from 9:00-9:45pm. Entrance is free!

During the same day, I will be a jury member during University’s Got Talent. This event is part of the Dies Natalis during the 90th anniversary celebrations of Tilburg University. During this event, 10 different acts (music, dance, debate, …) will try to conquer a place at Festival Mundial 2018! Together with Frank van Pamelen and Gino van Eijk, we will select the winner of this unique contest. More soon!

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Sep.29

Going Fast!

Four months since my last update, yet life has been going fast. I decided to take a well-deserved summer holiday and I spent one month in Colombia. It will take many more blog posts to summarize how amazing this trip actually was. Several great memories that simply cannot condensely be written out in an academic blog.

Many things have happened in the past four months. First of all, it is important that the Dutch fieldwork of the European Values Study is in the field. After a long trajectory of writing out a tender for fieldwork companies (and selecting the one with the best qualifications), translating the questionnaire, interviewer training, sampling designs, and so on, it’s with pleasure that I can add that the fieldwork has started about a month ago. The fieldwork is proceeding well, and response figures are heading in the right direction.

In addition, Edward Elgar publishing has worked hard to print an edited volume I have contributed to. Together with Wim van Oorschot, Femke Roosma, and Bart Meuleman, I brought together seminal authors working on welfare deservingness. After quite some time reviewing and revising chapters, it is with pleasure to see the end product on the shelf. “The Social Legitimacy of Targeted Welfare. Attitudes to Welfare Deservingness” is out!

At Tilburg University, the new academic year has started. For our Department, it’s an important transition, as we created an English track in the Bachelor program. We are pleased to host 16 students in the Bachelor International Sociology. The first bloc of the year started well: I’m teaching on social capital for 16 bright new students in the first year of the Research Master in Social and Behavioral Sciences. Next to that, I also teach the course “Diversity and Community” for about 30 students at University College Tilburg. In the Education Committee of Sociology, I made ‘promotion’ from staff member to chair. Apart of that, also the first Faculty Board with the new Dean has taken place, as well as the first meeting of the Dutch Sociological Association of the new academic year.

Least to say things are moving fast!

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May.01

Preparing for Athens

This week, the General Assembly of the European Values Study will take place in Athens. Being the European counterpart of the World Values Survey, the EVS is a large-scale cross-national survey on political and social attitudes carried out every nine years among representative samples of European countries. From this year onwards, I am the National Program Director of the Dutch fieldwork. In this role, I will participate in this EVS-meeting. The program on Friday is quite tight, with a discussion on the budget, the new questionnaire, insights on sampling strategies and the translation process, as well as information on how to collect data through web surveys. More information to come!

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