Mr L.J. (Laurens) Buijs MSc
Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences
GPIO : Docenten GPIO/ASW
Nieuwe Achtergracht 166 Room number: B8.15
1001 NC Amsterdam
Thank you for your visit! My name is Laurens Buijs and I am a social scientist at the University of Amsterdam. I am interested in one big question: how do the philosophies of the Enlightenment shape our present-day Western societies, in particular The Netherlands?
I am mostly influenced by Bruno Latour and others who have recognized the underlying ontological logic of Enlightenment: smooth, objective truth is hidden 'someplace else', in 'Nature'; and we humans are left behind in an imperfect universe of people living messily together. How this dichotomy of Politics/the Social on the one hand, and Nature/the Truth on the other plays out in all sorts of domains is what I attempt to capture in my work.
As such, I have worked on ways in which Latourian sociology, like Actor-Network Theory (ANT) and Science and Technology Studies (STS), can be applied to broader sociological themes (and not just the very technological). The themes I am working on are: gender and sexuality, Dutch culture and history, tolerance, nationalism, multiculturalism, Amsterdam urban politics, solidarity, and neoliberalism. Moreover, I work on the question of the ways in which democracy can be adapted in order to match with an 'post-Enlightenment' idea of social reality as a collection of practices, making it multiple, processual and relational.
In my study of the perpetrators of antigay violence (2009, together with Gert Hekma and Jan Willem Duyvendak), I argue that dominant conceptualizations of both gay acceptance and homophobia – as 'assets' of ethnic, religious or cultural traditions – contribute to nationalist identifications that oppose 'progressive Dutch people' to intolerant ethnic and religious Others. These dominant ideas inaccurately render 'native Dutch homophobia' unimaginable. Based on in-depth interviews with a diverse range of perpetrators of antigay violence in The Netherlands, I propose to explain incidents of violence not by referring to groups, but by studying them as ‘rites of passage’. These rites serve to acquire masculinity, societal status and peer recognition, which are constantly at stake for young men.
This study inspired me to further explore Dutch culture and politics and how ideas of 'progress' play a role in it, for example by studying the relationship between left-wing political parties and neoliberalism, the rise of the new right-wing anti-Islam parties after 9/11, the development of emancipation movements since the 1960s, and the making of ‘typically Dutch’ policy measures, such as gay marriage, legalization of prostitution and drugs policies.
I am a staunch holistic thinker in the sense that my work is tributary to one of the most ancient human wisdoms: 'everything is connected to everything'. Social collectives endure because of the relationships of which they are constituted. But I am also interested in the ways in which the human species as a whole relates to the evolutionary process, and how this process can be understood from a planetary and cosmological perspective.
I update this page regularly, but if you are interested in my latest work/activities/publications, please connect with me socially on Academia.edu, Linkedin or Facebook. I look forward to meeting you!
I do not only teach at the University of Amsterdam but also at multiple other great institutes; please check the 'At University' section to find out more about my current affiliations.
Since 2013, I am board member of the foundation for the George Mosse Fund at the UvA. This fund aims to promote LGBT studies and is particularly well-known for its yearly Mosse Lecture at the start of the academic season. Bas Heijne, Gerrit Komrij, Gloria Wekker, Ted van Lieshout and Jet Bussemaker are amongst the distinguished speakers in the Mosse series. Connect to the Mosse Fund on Facebook by clicking below.
Since it foundation in 2009 until 2014, I have been board member and chair of UvA Pride, the LGBT network of the University of Amsterdam. Together with the UvA Pride board, I have organized many events and initiated talks with the central board of the UvA about their diversity policy.
Outside of academia, I am board member of the AFRIpads Foundation. AFRIpads is a small-scale social business in rural Uganda. I played a modest role in establishing the company in 2009, after I met the founders and current directors Sophia Klumpp and Paul Grinvalds in Kampala. AFRIpads produces reusable and environmental-friendly menstrual pads for girls and women in the rural areas of Africa in order to increase female hygiene and health and decrease girl school dropout rates - and it is actually working. If you are interested or if you feel that you can help in any way, please don't hesitate to follow the link!
Educational background & CV
2006 - 2009: Research Master in Social Sciences, MSc. (With Honor)
2005 - 2006: Premaster in Political Science
2003 - 2005: Minor European Union Studies
2001 - 2006: Dutch Language & Culture, MA.
Opinionated and analytical articles published in online and offline media, and other contributions to public debates:
TV & radio interviews
Interviews given for radio and television:
A selection of interviews given for printed news media:
Events participated in
Talks and presentations given, debates and conferences participated in:
Involved in the organization of events:
Download some of my articles and books here for free:
Besides the University of Amsterdam, I am affiliated to several other academic institutions:
Supervised student research projects:
Policy and other documents:
- Buijs, L., Hekma, G., & Duyvendak, J. W. (2009). Als ze maar van me afblijven: een onderzoek naar antihomoseksueel geweld in Amsterdam. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press. [details]
- de Beer, P., Berg, M., Buijs, L., Koster, F., & Lepianka, D. (2017). Towards an Interdisciplinary Theory of Solidarity. In P. de Beer, & F. Koster (Eds.), Ethnic Diversity and Solidarity: A Study of their Complex Relationship (pp. 13-42). Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing. [details]
- Buijs, L. (2012). It's Gender, Stupid! Over hoe de Nederlandse wetenschap en politiek over homofobie heen kijken. Eutopia, 30, 69-75. [details]
- Mepschen, P., & Buijs, L. (2011). Naar een seksueel antinationalisme. Waterstof : Krant van Waterland, 56. [details]
- Buijs, L., & Hospers, H. (2010). Hoewel ik het zelf soms ook wel doe. Een onderzoek naar onveilige seks en coming out bij homojongens. Amsterdam/Maastricht: Aids Fonds. [details]
- Benschop, A., Buijs, L., Engelfriet, L., Floor, G., van Mourik, D., de Nijs, S., ... Korf, D. J. (2009). Coffeeshops in het hart van de stad: bewoners en toeristen over postcodegebied 1012 in Amsterdam. (Bonger reeks; No. 12). Amsterdam: Rozenberg Publishers. [details]
- Buijs, L. (2012). De vernedering voorbij: over homo-emancipatie in multicultureel Nederland. In R. Slings, M. Bencheikh, H. el Kaddouri, & L. Euser (Eds.), Op zoek naar balans: homo-emancipatie onder Marokkaanse Nederlanders (pp. 11-15). Utrecht: SMN. [details]
- Buijs, L. (2012). GroenLinks scheidt niet alleen afval, ook de samenleving. Waterstof : Krant van Waterland, 62. [details]
- Buijs, L. (2012). [Bespreking van: S. Keuzenkamp, A. Oudejans (2011) Gewoon aan de slag? De sociale veiligheid van de werkplek voor homoseksuele mannen en vrouwen]. Mens en Maatschappij, 87(3), 332-335. [details]
- Buijs, L., Hekma, G., & Duyvendak, J. W. (2008). Als ze maar van me afblijven: een onderzoek naar antihomoseksueel geweld in Amsterdam. Amsterdam: Universiteit van Amsterdam, Amsterdam School for Social Science Reseach. [details]
- Mellink, A. G. M., Buijs, L. J., Mepschen, P. J. H., Oudenampsen, M., Ponte, M., & van Reekum, R. (2014). Hoe Nederland en racisme heeft omarmd. NRC Next.
- Mepschen, P. J. H., & Buijs, L. J. (2011). Sexual whiteness. The case of Amsterdam gay capital. Paper presented at Uitsluitende Emancipatie, .
- Buijs, L., Geesink, I., & Holla, S. (2014). De seksparadox: Nederland na de seksuele revolutie. Den Haag: Boom Lemma uitgevers. [details]
- No ancillary activities