From the perspective of the Dutch citizen, it is possible to discern and describe a Dutch identity. Key elements in that identity are the Dutch language, as well as symbols and traditions. There are strikingly few differences between Dutch people based on gender, age, education level or origin.
While there is essentially a consensus about what makes the Netherlands the Netherlands, there are some differences in opinion. Freedom is the major common denominator for many Dutch people, though how that concept is interpreted can vary and is sometimes contradictory. There is a tension between people who feel attachment to the Netherlands based on symbols and traditions, and people whose affective ties with the Netherlands derive from civic freedoms.
Sjoerd Beugelsdijk and Pepijn van Houwelingen will discuss Dutch identity during the Interdisciplinary Symposium Identity and Inequality: the Role of Institutions on November 15th. Other speakers are: Kees van den Bos (Social psychology), Coen Teulings (Economics), Diederick Raven (Anthropology), and Tineke Fokkema (Demography, Erasmus University). For more information, the abstracts and an overview of the programme, visit the event page.