Jacco van Sterkenburg has been awarded the EUR Research prize 2014

Jacco van Sterkenburg has been awarded the EUR Research

Van Sterkenburg holds a PhD degree from Utrecht University (2011). In 2013, he became an assistant professor in ESHCC’s Department of Media and Communication at Erasmus University and a member of the Erasmus Research Centre for Media, Communication and Culture (ERMeCC). He has a wide ranging expertise in sports studies, media studies and cultural studies. His past and current research is not only ambitious in its scope, but also important and timely as it focuses attention on two of the major cultural forces in society today, namely sport (football) and the mass media (television). Further, given the continuing significance of racial and ethnic divides within society, the salience of racial and ethnic identities and the passions that sports produce, his research helps address some fundamental problems regarding social cohesion and integration.

Although some studies have highlighted the potential of men’s televised football to strengthen social cohesion and serve integrative purposes, numerous other studies have shown that televised football commentary incorporates racial/ethnic and gender stereotypes that socially disadvantage ethnic minorities and women and privilege ethnic majority men. Van Sterkenburg’s research focuses on race/ethnicity and gender in televised football, the Paralympics on television, and cultural racism in football management. Recent pilot studies, sponsored by a FIFA scholarship, and an UEFA grant, suggest that televised football audiences engage in everyday exclusionary discourses based on race and gender (Van Sterkenburg, 2013).

In 2011, Van Sterkenburg won the Masterclass award at the NWO Bessensap-event, organised to facilitate contacts between researchers and science journalists. He has proven to be highly successful in engaging the public, media producers, schools, football organizations and other stakeholders through a wide range of activities such as developing resources and giving talks for schools and universities, public events, media symposia and contributions to interventions against racism (such as Football Against Racism in Europe). Recently, he was a panel member in the Masterclass Gender Equality in Sport (Erasmus Pavilion, 25 July 2014).

Van Sterkenburg published in major sports and media studies journals and in important anthologies, such as:


Van Sterkenburg is a Visiting Research Fellow at the Mulier Institute – a Dutch centre for social science research in sports and he’s been an invited guest editor for an upcoming special issue of Soccer & Society on sport media representations and receptions (to be published with Routledge). He has also been an invited speaker at numerous (international) conferences, workshops and seminars, and his work regularly features in mainstream Dutch media.

Literature references
Sterkenburg, J. van (2013), National bonding and meanings given to race and ethnicity: Watching the football World Cup on Dutch TV, Soccer & Society, 14 (3), 386-403.