6 November 2019

Lecture during symposium Identity and Inequality on November 15th

Sjoerd Beugelsdijk and Pepijn van Houwelingen on Dutch Identity

Cover van het SCP rapport "Denken aan Nederland" (2019)

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.

About the speakers

Sjoerd Beugelsdijk

Sjoerd Beugelsdijk is director of research at the Faculty of Economics and Business of the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. He is an expert on globalization and cultural diversity. He has held visiting positions at several universities including University of South Carolina, Copenhagen Business School, and Bocconi University. He has edited and co-authored the 2019 government advisory board (Sociaal en Cultureel Planbureau, SCP) report on ‘Dutch national identity’ together with Pepijn van Houwelingen.

Pepijn van Houwelingen

Pepijn van Houwelingen works as a researcher within the research group ‘Values and meaning’ of the Netherlands Institute for Social Research at SCP. He received his PhD from Hiroshima City University for his thesis ‘Social Capital in Japan’. He is and has been involved in research concerning values, meaning, national identity, sociology of religion, social cohesion, (political) participation and civil initiatives and is experienced in both quantitative and qualitative research and local policy analysis.

Insitutions for Open Societies

This symposium is organised by the Stream Inequality of Institutions for Open Societies. Institutions for Open Societies (IOS) is one of the four interdisciplinary research areas of Utrecht University. IOS research focuses on the development growth of healthy open societies everywhere.