Matthijs Kalmijn received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1991 (UCLA) and has since then worked at Princeton University, Utrecht University, and Tilburg University.
Kalmijn has specialized in family sociology and social demography. The relevance of studying these issues lies in the enormous social and demographic changes that have occurred in virtually all developed societies in the past decades, in particular the gender role revolution at home, the increase in divorce, the decline of fertility, and the ageing of the population. Secondary areas are social networks and relationships, social stratification and inequality, and ethnicity.
Kalmijn has initiated and coordinated several large-scale social surveys in the Netherlands, including the Netherlands Kinship Panel Study (NKPS), and, more recently, the Netherlands Longitudinal Lifecourse Study (NELLS). An important goal here is to obtain longitudinal data on individuals as well as multi-actor data, i.e., data collected among related individuals.
Currently, Kalmijn’s work focuses on two more specific research themes: (a) the strength and nature of relationships between parents and (adult) children, (b) the consequences of family structure for social inequality and social relationships.