A student who has difficulty thinking of at least three sensible explanations for any correlation that he is really interested in should probably choose another profession (Arthur L. Stinchcombe)

Sociologist Jeroen van der Waal (Ph.D. Erasmus University Rotterdam, 2010) is associate professor at Erasmus University Rotterdam, Fellow at Erasmus University College, and a member of the Erasmus Graduate School of Social Sciences and the Humanities, and Young Erasmus. His research is predominantly located in the fields of political sociology, urban sociology and sociology of health.

Explaining why social stratification is linked to value orientations, voting behaviour, and health disparities in Western societies is the bedrock of his research program. Informed by the Weberian distinction between class and status, Jeroen analyses how both economic and cultural stratification independently affect value orientations, voting behaviour and health, by means of very different mechanisms, and each in various ways.

In order to do so, he goes beyond providing ‘explanations’ by means of re-establishing well-established empirical generalisations. Instead, the analytical-sociological approach applied in Jeroen van der Waal’s research program considers such empirical generalisations mere starting points for research, that is, as patterns that need to be explained by uncovering the mechanisms that underlie these, informed by Mertonian middle-range theories.

In addition to his research activities, Jeroen teaches a course on stratification at Erasmus University College, and courses in political sociology in the Master program Politics & Society ( starting September 2016).