W. (Willem) de Koster

Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences (ESSB)
Erasmus University Rotterdam

Willem de Koster (1984) is Associate Professor of Cultural Sociology at Erasmus University Rotterdam.

While his PhD thesis (2010) addressed virtual communities, most of Willem’s past and current research focuses on the genesis, backgrounds and consequences of cultural conflict and discontents, taking the importance of cultural framing into account. Methodologically, his research ranges from in-depth qualitative case studies to analyses of large-scale internationally comparative survey data and survey experiments. Substantively, his current research consists of three branches.

The first one focuses on value polarization in western countries, scrutinizing for instance public conflicts on issues of migration and integration, social order, crime and punishment, gender, and sexuality. Questions of interest are: how did opinions on these issues change over the years, which groups are pitted against each other, and what are the causes and consequences of these social conflicts, for instance when it comes to societal discontents and voting behavior?

The second branch of Willem’s current research concentrates on the way in which characteristics of cities and neighborhoods impact citizens’ fear, discontents, health, value orientations and voting behavior. In exploring these issues, he pays ample attention to the way in which contextual and individual-level factors interact in producing various outcomes.

Willem’s third branch of research focuses on information provision and cultural frames. Research inspired by the highly influential ‘information deficit model’ suggests that people’s opinions on new technologies, policies, and institutions are hardly or not affected by the provision of new information. However, Willem’s research, which builds on insights from cultural sociology and communication science, evidences that information provision actually has strong effects, but that these depend on people’s cultural frames, which influence the way in which information is processed. Willem analyzes how such cultural predispositions shape the way in which new information underlies a change in attitudes and behaviors, addressing a wide range of issues, from food and water intake to public opinion on suspended sentences.

Willem’s research has been enabled by a Conflict & Security grant and a personal VENI grant, both awarded by The Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO), an EUR Fellowship and several personal research incentives awarded by the Executive Board of Erasmus University Rotterdam, and smaller funds provided by the Dutch Scientific Council for Government Policy (WRR) and the Netherlands Institute for Social Research (SCP).

In addition to his research activities, Willem teaches various courses, among others in Erasmus University's Master specialization Politics & Society and the top-rated Research Master in Sociology of Culture, Media and the Arts. Willem also serves on the editorial boards of two peer-reviewed journals: Sociologie and Sociologos.

Visit Willem’s Google Scholar page or his personal website www.willemdekoster.nl for more information.

  • D. Houtman, S.D. Aupers & W. de Koster (2011). Paradoxes of Individualization: Social Control and Social Conflict in Contemporary Modernity. Aldershot: Ashgate
  • W. de Koster (2014). Online forumparticipatie door orthodox-protestantse homoseksuelen. In A Pons (Ed.), Biblebelt Online: Bevindelijk gereformeerden en nieuwe media (pp. 187-208). Apeldoorn: Labarum Academic
  • W. de Koster & J. van der Waal (2014). Botsende opvattingen over etnische diversiteit en sociale orde: Hoe zijn verschillen tussen lager- en hogeropgeleiden te verklaren? In M. Bovens, P. Dekker & W. Tiemeijer (Eds.), Gescheiden werelden? Een verkenning van sociaal-culturele tegenstellingen in Nederland (pp. 165-190). Den Haag: SCP/WRR
  • J. van der Waal & W. de Koster (2013). Occupational mobility. In A.C. Michalos (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Quality of Life and Well-Being Research. Heidelberg: Springer Publishing
  • P. Achterberg, D. Houtman, S.D. Aupers & W. de Koster (2012). Two lefts and two rights. Class voting and cultural voting in the Netherlands. In D Houtman, S Aupers & W De Koster (Eds.), Paradoxes of Individualization (pp. 105-122). Farnham: Ashgate
  • J. van der Waal & W. de Koster (2012). Occupational mobility. In AC Michalos (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Quality of Life Research. Heidelberg: Springer Publishing
  • S. van Doorn, W. de Koster & J. Verheul (2011). Agony of Choice? The Social Embeddedness of Consumer Decisions. In D. Houtman, S. Aupers & W. de Koster (Eds.), Paradoxes of Individualization: Social Control and Social Conflict in Contemporary Modernity (pp. 25-31). Farnham: Ashgate
  • W. de Koster, P. Achterberg, D. Houtman & J. van der Waal (2011). One Nation without God? Post-Christian Cultural Conflict in the Netherlands. In D. Houtman, S. Aupers & W. de Koster (Eds.), Paradoxes of Individualization: Social Control and Social Conflict in Contemporary Modernity (pp. 123-140). Farnham: Ashgate
  • W. de Koster (2011). ‘Stormfront is Like a Second Home to Me’: Social Exclusion of Right-Wing Extremists. In D. Houtman, S. Aupers & W. de Koster (Eds.), Paradoxes of Individualization: Social Control and Social Conflict in Contemporary Modernity (pp. 73-90). Farnham: Ashgate
  • W. de Koster (2011). Toevluchtsoord en springplank: Een internetforum voor orthodox protestantse homoseksuelen. In E van den Berg, P van Houwelingen & J de Hart (Eds.), Informele groepen: Verkenningen van eigentijdse bronnen van sociale cohesie (pp. 181-198). Den Haag: SCP
  • S.R.J.M. van Bohemen, R. Kemmers & W. de Koster (2011). Secular Intolerance in a Post-Christian Society: The Case of Islam in the Netherlands. In D. Houtman, S. Aupers & W. de Koster (Eds.), Paradoxes of Individualization: Social Control, Social Exclusion and Social Conflict in Contemporary Modernity (pp. 141-155). Aldershot: Ashgate
  • K. Manevska, J. van der Waal, P. Achterberg, D. Houtman & W. de Koster (2010). Verzorgingsstaatschauvinisme in Nederland. In R. Batenburg, p. de Beer, J. Mevissen & K. Tijdens (Eds.), Arbeid in crisis (pp. 131-142). Den Haag: Lemma
  • W. de Koster, P.H.J. Achterberg, J. van der Waal, S.R.J.M. van Bohemen & R. Kemmers (2013). Progressieve waarden nauwelijks van belang voor PVV-stemmers. Sociale vraagstukken. doi: http://www.socialevraagstukken.nl/site/2013/08/20/progressieve-waarden-nauwelijks-van-belang-voor-pvv-stemmers/
  • W. de Koster, P.H.J. Achterberg, R. Kemmers, J. van der Waal & S.R.J.M. van Bohemen (2013). Goede sociologen versimpelen de hele werkelijkheid. Sociale vraagstukken. doi: http://www.socialevraagstukken.nl/site/2013/11/13/goede-sociologen-versimpelen-de-hele-werkelijkheid/
  • J. van der Waal, W. de Koster & P.H.J. Achterberg (2011). Het culturele klimaat bepaalt steun voor de PVV. (blog). Trouw.nl: Trouw. (available: 13 Sep 2011).
  • J. van der Waal, W. de Koster & P.H.J. Achterberg (2011). Cultureel klimaat bepaalt steun voor PVV. (blog). Sargasso.nl: Sargasso. (available: 9 Sep 2011).
  • J. van der Waal, W. de Koster & P.H.J. Achterberg (2011). Het culturele klimaat bepaalt steun voor de PVV. (blog). Socialevraagstukken.nl: Sociale Vraagstukken. (available: 9 Sep 2011).
  • W. de Koster & J. van der Waal (2007). Culture, Secularisation, and Politics. Reassessing Authoritarianism and Moral Conservatism in Political Sociology. (Extern rapport, ASSR working papers, no 5(1)). Amsterdam: ASSR
  • R. Veenhoven, W. de Koster & M.E. Meeteren (2003). Meting maatschappelijke impact van onderzoek: Vermelding van sociologen in de krant en overheidspublicaties. Facta, 12-15.
  • R. Veenhoven, W. de Koster & M.E. Meeteren (2003). Meting output onderzoek FSW/EUR. Productiviteit en impact. (Intern rapport). onbekend: SOCIOLOGIE
  • S.B.L. Daenekindt, W. de Koster & J. van der Waal (2017). Culturele opvattingen en de PVV. (blog). Stuk Rood Vlees. (available: 27 Jan 2017).
  • S.B.L. Daenekindt, J. van der Waal & W. de Koster (2017). Het ressentiment van sociale daling. (blog). Sociale Vraagstukken. (available: 18 Apr 2017).
  • W. de Koster (Ed.). (2009) Sociologie.
  • W. de Koster (Ed.). (2009) Information, Communication and Society (online).
  • W. de Koster (Ed.). (2008) Social Forces (print), Referee.
  • W. de Koster (Ed.). (2008) Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, Referee.
  • W. de Koster (Ed.). (2008) Sociologie.
  • W. de Koster (2008). Contextualizing Online Interactions: The case of orthodox protestant homosexuals. Arts, Culture and the Public Sphere, Expressive and Instrumental Values in Economic and sociological Perspectives: Venice (2008, november 4 - 2008, november 8).
  • W. de Koster (Ed.). (2007) Sociologos, Referee.
  • R. Kemmers, W. de Koster, T. Antonio, G. Vegter & L. van der Vorst (2007). Economische belangen en repressie van fraude. Dag van de Sociologie: Rotterdam (2007, mei 31).
  • S. van Doorn, W. de Koster & J. Verheul (2007). Keuzestress!? Over de sociale inbedding van individuele keuzes. Dag van de Sociologie: Rotterdam (2007, mei 31).
  • W. de Koster & D. Houtman (2007). `A Place Where I Have Many Comrades.¿ On Virtual Community Formation by Right-Wing Extremists. EUROQUAL Digital Methods for Qualitative Research: Cardiff, Wales (2007, mei 22 - 2007, mei 24).
  • W. de Koster & D. Houtman (2006). Toevluchtsoord voor een bedreigde soort. Over vrituele gemeenschapsvorming door rechts-extremisten. Dag van de Sociologie: Tilburg (2006, juni 8).
  • W. de Koster & D. Houtman (2006). Refuge for a Threatened Species. On Virtual Community Formation by Right-Wing Extremists. Changing Cultures: European Perspectives. 2006 Conference of the ESA Research Network for the Sociology of Culture: Ghent, Belgium (2006, november 16).
  • D. Houtman & W. de Koster (2006). Een toevluchtsoord voor een bedreigde soort: Virtuele gemeenschapsvorming door rechts-extremisten. Symposium Paradoxen van individualisering: Rotterdam (2006, april 13).

Editorial positions

  • Sociologie

    Co-Editor


Address

Visiting address

Office: Mandeville Building T15-45
Burg. Oudlaan 50
3062 PA Rotterdam

Postal address

Postbus 1738
3000 DR Rotterdam
Netherlands

Research Areas

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Latest news

dr. Willem de Koster of Sociology awarded prestigious Veni grant
De Koster will receive the 246,000 euro grant for a three year project entitled 'Why do Neighborhood Composition, Disorder, and Cohesion affect Fear of Crime? Unraveling the Underlying Mechanisms'.