Meet our PhD candidates: Julian Schaap | Arts and Culture Studies

In 2013, Julian Schaap graduated (cum laude) on the topic of whiteness and rock music. In May 2013, together with Assistant Professor Pauwke Berkers and Professor Koen van Eijck, Julian received a five-year grant from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) as a part of Doctorates in Humanities ('Promoties in de Geesteswetenschappen') to pursue his international PhD project on the topic. He started his PhD and work as a lecturer in October 2013.

Unmarked norm
What does it mean to be Turkish, Moroccan or Antillean? A great deal of research has been conducted on 'blackness' within sociology. "But the view of sociologists – the majority of whom are usually white men – is hardly ever directed inwards," Julian states. "Whiteness is more or less seen as the default option that is left unstudied, also referred to as the 'unmarked norm'."

In his research, Julian aims to turn this view inwards: "If there is a particular idea about what blackness means, there must also be ideas about what whiteness means, even if these are never explicitly expressed. Little sound, sociological research has been carried out into what unmarked whiteness exactly is and how it is constructed."