Roy Kemmers (1980) is Lecturer in Sociology at Erasmus University College and a PhD candidate at the Department of Sociology at Erasmus University Rottedam.
As a cultural sociologist I am interested in processes of cultural change, as manifested in the (changing) meanings that are attributed to such topics as politics, religion, identity, gender and ethnicity.
In my PhD project I study contemporary popular discontents about politics by taking a cultural sociological perspective. With this project I aim to develop a theory about political discontents that emphasizes the importance of ordinary people’s own definitions of the situations they find themselves (and society) in.
In different parts of my dissertation I analyse 1) the different types of political discontents that can be found in the letters to the editor of Dutch popular newspaper De Telegraaf, 2) the socialization of discontented citizens into (what I refer to as) their ‘anti-establishment careers’, and 3) the differences between populist party voters and nonvoters in their subjective abilities to perform meaningfully in politics.
Through these efforts, I engage theory on populism, political distrust, participation and deviance. Taken together, these different analyses inspire a problematisation of the exclusive focus on the institutional-political domain of many relevant theories.
I am a co-editor for the full-colour Dutch quarterly Sociologie Magazine and I take part in an EU-wide think tank of early stage researchers on populist political communication (COST Action IS1308).