Pauwke Berkers was born - earlier than expected - on December 6, 1977, the year that punk exploded. Unwilling to leave the beautiful province of Noord Brabant, he studied sociology at Tilburg University, specializing in the sociology of arts and culture. His MA thesis, entitled Rock tegen de rollen: Een onderzoek naar vrouwenpunk en feminisme in Nederland rond 1980, addresses the extent and ways in which female band members have dealt with gender boundaries, drawing on both do-it-yourself and feminist ideologies.
After obtaining his master's degree, he started his PhD project at the Department of Arts and Culture Studies at the Erasmus University Rotterdam. His dissertation Classification into the Literary Mainstream? Ethnic Boundaries in the Literary Fields of the United States, the Netherlands and Germany, 1955-2005 (ISBN 978-90-76665-19-1), which was part of a large-scale international research project called Cultural Classification Systems in Transition, discusses how and to what degree ethnic minority authors have become part of the literary mainstream (criticism, policy and history) in the United States, the Netherlands and Germany from 1955 to 2005.
Currently, Pauwke Berkers is Assistant Professor of Sociology of Art and Culture in the Department of Arts and Culture Studies, Erasmus University Rotterdam. In 2013 he received a PhD in the Humanities grant (together with Julian Schaap and Koen van Eijck) for the project Elvis has finally left the building? Boundary work, whiteness and the reception of rock music in comparative perspective (NWO 322-45-003).
His main interests include symbolic and social boundaries, racial/ethnic and gender inequality in the arts, cultural fields and (not so) popular music.