Nederlanders and buitenlanders: A sociolinguistic-ethnographic study of ethnic categorization among secondary school pupils

Lisa Pomme van de Weerd

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisInternal

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The dissertation ‘Nederlanders and buitenlanders’ [‘Dutch people and foreigners'] is about the categorisation of oneself as 'Dutch', 'foreigner', 'Turk', and/or 'Moroccan'. In a lot of social and scientific discourse in the Netherlands, it is stated that anyone who calls themselves, for example, 'Moroccan', has an emotional connection with Morocco, is not well integrated, or that it is proof of a certain socio-cultural or religious orientation. This dissertation, based on nine months of ethnographic fieldwork with students from a third- and fourth-year pre-vocational secondary school (VMBO) in Venlo, demonstrates that the meaning of such labels is much more complex; ethnic categorisations have different meanings in different contexts, and therefore need to be examined in those specific contexts. By calling themselves or each other Turkish, Moroccan or Dutch, the pupils are not necessarily indicating that they do not feel at home or are not integrated. Sometimes it is just 'cool' or funny to use such a label.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Maastricht University
  • Université Libre de Bruxelles
  • Cornips, Leonie, Supervisor
  • Jaspers, J., Supervisor, External person
  • Wesseling, Elisabeth, Co-Supervisor
Award date18 Nov 2020
Place of PublicationAmsterdam
Print ISBNs9789460933653
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • ethnicity
  • origin
  • categorisation
  • labels
  • integration
  • youth
  • linguistic anthropology

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