For best experience please turn on javascript and use a modern browser!

What does ‘getting respect’ entail in a late capitalist society marked by intense processes of culturalization and racialization? This one-day conference is organized within the context of the Erasmus Prize 2017, award to Michèle Lamont, the Robert I. Goldman Professor of European Studies and a Professor of Sociology and African American Studies at Harvard University, for her contributions to European social sciences.

Detail Summary
Date 23 November 2017
Time 09:30 - 18:00

The question on ‘getting respect’ readily brings us to the relation between class inequality and economic redistribution on the one hand, and cultural difference, processes of racialization, and identity politics on the other hand – a relation that has posed many questions within contemporary social and political theory.

Various efforts at framing and theorizing this question – often in terms of redistribution and recognition, or social class vs. identity politics – have, however, not exhausted nor settled it. The social dynamics and tensions that these theoretical efforts speak to, continue to be felt in intense ways in society at large, whether in discussions on populism, racism, and the ‘angry white vote’ on both sides of the Atlantic, or discussion on ‘radicalization’ and whether disenfranchised Muslim youth in and of the West should be given jobs or trained in ‘Western values’, to name just two salient contemporary public debates.

Like many other debates that effectively engage in drawing material and cultural boundaries of whom and what belongs to a particular location and its resources, these debates are intense, fraught, and consequential.

Focus of the conference

This conference seeks to further explore the theoretical tensions and social conflicts that underlie and shape above described debates, and does so in terms of ‘getting respect’ (Lamont et al. 2016). It does so through focusing on four topics that are central in the contemporary understanding and negotiations of the material and cultural boundaries of the Netherlands: Colonial Pasts and Recognition; the Muslim Question; Refugees; and White Natives.

Michele Lamont
Michèle Lamont (Harvard University)

About Michèle Lamont

Michèle Lamont is Professor of Sociology and of African and African American Studies and the Robert I. Goldman Professor of European Studies at Harvard University. She served as the 108th President of the American Sociological Association in 2016-2017.

A cultural and comparative sociologist, Lamont is the author of a dozen books and edited volumes and over one hundred articles and chapters on a range of topics including culture and inequality, racism and stigma, academia and knowledge, social change and successful societies, and qualitative methods.

Her most recent publications include the coauthored book Getting Respect (Princeton University Press, 2016) and a special issue of Social Science & Medicine on “Mutuality, Health Promotion, and Collective Cultural Change.” Lamont is Director of the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University; and Co-director of the Successful Societies Program, Canadian Institute for Advanced Research.

Plenary Speakers

Philomena Essed 

Professor of Critical Race, Gender and Leadership Studies at Antioch University’s Graduate School of Leadership and Change; Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of Johannesburg, and an affiliated researcher for Utrecht University’s Graduate Gender program.

Halleh Ghorashi

Full Professor of Diversity and Integration and since March 2017 the Head of the Department of Sociology at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Between 2005 and 2012 she held the prestigious position of PaVEM-chair in Management of Diversity and Integration at the Department of Organization Science at the VU.

Willem Schinkel

Professor of Social Theory at Erasmus University Rotterdam, and a member of The Young Academy of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Elizabeth Bortolaia Silva

Professor of Sociology at The Open University. She currently chairs the production of the Masters’ Programme in Social Sciences and is Director of the Centre for Citizenship, Identity and Governance (CCIG).

Chairs of the plenary debates

Jan Willem Duyvendak

Distinguished Research Professor of Sociology at the University of Amsterdam, after he had been director of the Verwey-Jonker Research Institute for Social Issues (1999-2003) and Professor of Community Development at the Erasmus University Rotterdam.

Giselinde Kuipers

Professor of Cultural Sociology and Chair of the Department of Sociology at the University of Amsterdam.

Download programme and profiles of speakers and chairs


All are invited to attend the conference. Attendance is free but registration is required via the link below (only 140 places).

Register for the conference 'Getting Respect in the Netherlands

Roeterseilandcampus - building I (CREA)
Roeterseilandcampus - building I (CREA)

Nieuwe Achtergracht 168-178
1018 WV Amsterdam

Praemium Erasmianum Foundation

Organizers and support

The conference is co-organized by the Praemium Erasmianum Foundation and the University of Amsterdam (Programme Groups Political Sociology and Cultural Sociology of the Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research, Sarah Bracke and Kobe De Keere of the Sociology Department).