Research Staff

Ricardo A. Ayala

ricardo_ayala.jpgRicardo A. Ayala is a postdoctoral research fellow financed by the Research Foundation Flanders (FWO). After a brief career in healthcare in Chile, he studied sociology at Université de Strasbourg (France) and completed his doctoral research at Ghent University with a dissertation in the field of sociology of the professions. He holds affiliation with the Association Française de Sociologie, the International Institute for Qualitative Methodology, the European Society of Health and Medical Society, and the European Association for the Teaching of Academic Writing. His interests include narratives, academic writing, social theory, ethnographic research and concept development.

Chloë Delcour (junior researcher, teaching assistant, PS04)

chloe-delcour.jpgChloë Delcour obtained her Master in Sociology (2010-2011) at Ghent University . Now she works as as a PhD fellow of the Research Foundation-Flanders within the Centre for Social Theory. Before October 2013, she was a teaching assistant for two years at the Sociology Department. In these two years she developed her research interests in globalization, human rights culture, and international power relations

Her doctoral research is situated within the interdisciplinary domains of political sociology and sociology of human rights. She tries to grasp the construction of human rights for Roma and Gypsy travellers, a group for which these rights are still highly contested, by analysing the discursive debate taking place in newspaper reporting between different actors on different levels in specific human rights case studies.

Contact

chloe.delcour@ugent.be

 

Els De Waele (junior researcher, PS04)

els-dewaele.jpgIn 2012 Els De Waele obtained her Master degree in social work at the Department of Social Welfare Studies of Ghent University. Currently she is working as a Ph.D. candidate at the Center for Social Theory. Her doctoral research focuses on the triangular relationship between activation practices, the labor market and volunteer work, and on the emerging phenomenon of government-driven volunteering therein. More specifically she is studying how and with which consequences government-driven volunteering is employed as an answer to social exclusion, and which consequences this has for the present day nature of volunteering.

Contact

Els.DeWaele@UGent.be

Davide Dusi

davide-dusi-150x156.jpgDavide Dusi is a PhD student at the Centre for Social Theory of Ghent University. He obtained his BA in Education Sciences at University of Verona in 2008, and his MA in Sociology at University of Trento in 2012.

His curriculum encompasses Labour, Organization, and Information Systems, with a great emphasis on the relationship between Science, Technology and Society. Presently, his research concerns productive paradigms in digital environments and related phenomena such as prosumer movement and user participation through social media. He is also interested in participatory design of ICT and in societal innovation driven by digital innovation.

Contact

davide.dusi@ugent.be

Robbe Geysmans

robbe-geysmans.jpgMy research interests are new forms of participation and citizenship, with a special emphasis on consumer activism and ethical consumption. I’m focusing on a variety of questions, such as ‘what is ethical consumption?’, ‘how is the buying/consuming of goods perceived as a form of civic participation?’ and ‘what’s the role of ethical products in an everyday supermarket?’.

My research interests are new forms of participation and citizenship, with a special emphasis on consumer activism and ethical consumption. I’m focusing on a variety of questions, such as ‘what is ethical consumption?’, ‘how is the buying/consuming of goods perceived as a form of civic participation?’ and ‘what’s the role of ethical products in an everyday supermarket?’.

Contact

robbe.geysmans@ugent.be

Lesley Hustinx (lecturer, PS04)

lesley-hustinx.jpgLesley Hustinx is a professor at the Center for Social Theory. She earned her Ph.D. in 2003 from the University of Leuven, and was granted a doctoral and postdoctoral fellowship of the Research Foundation Flanders (FWO). She was a visiting fellow at the Centre for Civil Society at London School of Economics, the School of Social Policy and Practice at the University of Pennsylvania, and the College of Letters, Arts and Sciences at the University of Southern California. Her major research interests include societies in transition, and the consequences of recent social change for the condition and nature of citizenship and citizen-based solidarity, focusing on the study of civil society and civic participation, voluntary associations and social capital, volunteering and philanthropy.

 

Lesley Hustinx is a board member of the International Society for Third Sector Research (ISTR) and the Flemish Sociological Association (VVS). She is an active member of the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA), the European Research Network on Philanthropy (ERNOP), and the European Civil Society Dissertation Network.

 

Contact:

lesley.hustinx@ugent.be

Efstathios Kessareas

efstathios-essareas-150x179.jpgEfstathios Kessareas received a PhD in sociology in 2010 from the Department of Philosophy and Social Studies, University of Crete (Greece); the PhD dissertation was entitled “Orthodox Church and State in modern Greece: a sociological analysis of the ideological conflicts”.

He obtained a MA in Religious and Development Studies at the University of Leeds (UK), a BA degree in Sociology at the Panteion University of Political and Social Sciences (Greece) and a BA degree in Greek Philology at the University of Crete.

He worked as a teacher of sociology at a Public Institute of Vocational Training in Greece and during his military service as a researcher at the Army History Directorate of the Hellenic Army.

In collaboration with Raf Vanderstraeten, his current postdoctoral research focuses on the attitude of ecclesiastical and secular intellectuals toward the current financial crisis in Greece. His main objective is not to offer a simple typology of the different ideological responses toward the crisis, but more importantly to examine the ‘rhythm’ of the changes between the realm of ideas and the socioeconomic reality in the current context of the financial crisis.

His general research interests are in the field of sociology of religion, sociology of knowledge, social and conceptual transformation.

Contact

efstathios.kessareas@ugent.be

Tomás Koch

tomas-koch.jpgTomás Koch obtained his Master’s Degree at Austral University, Chile. Currently, he is a teaching assistant at Playa Ancha University (Chile) and a doctoral researcher at the Center for Social Theory at Ghent University. His doctoral research explores the transition of the academic profession in Chile through the analysis of socialisation of new faculty members from a communication-theory perspective.

More specifically, he intends to look at both internal changes in the university (e.g. balance between research and teaching) and the relationship between the university and its social environment. His research interests include sociology of education, sociology of knowledge and sociology of development.

Contact

Tomas.Koch@UGent.be

Kaat Louckx

kaat-louckx-150x152.jpgKaat Louckx is a postdoctoral fellow at the Department of Sociology of the University of Chicago (B.A.E.F. Fellowship) and at the Center for Social Theory at Ghent University. Her research interests include the history of the social sciences, sociology of knowledge, and social theory. Her work appeared, amongst others, in The Sociological Review (2014), Social Science History (2015), and Nations and Nationalism (forthcoming).

 

Contact

kaat.louckx@ugent.be

Memory Mphaphuli

Memory MphaphuliMemory Mphaphuli obtained her Masters degree (cum laude) from the University of Johannesburg in South Africa. Her MA dissertation was titled “Interrogating the heteronormative sexuality and gendered performativity of young people in Madelakufa Informal Settlement” and it aimed to explore the multiple processes, positionings and power relations that constitute normative heterosexuality.

She is pursuing her PhD in the Department of Sociology here at Ghent University. Her doctoral research seeks to take the examination of normative heterosexuality further by investigating its construction within the family institution.

Her research interests include gender, sexuality, race politics and feminist theories.

 

Duyen Phuong

duyen-phuong.jpgDuyen Phuong got a Master degree in Linguistics and Literature in 2003 at Hanoi University of Education. From 2003 till 2016, she has worked as a lecturer at Hanoi University of Industry in Hanoi, Vietnam.

Her current research is intended to aim at teachers’ treatment of gendered school textbooks, teachers’ gendered stance and their classroom practices as well as the effects of teachers’ talk about gender representation in the textbooks on learners’ gendered identity formation in Vietnam.

Her main research interests include discourse analysis, gender and identity formation.

 

Itamar Shachar (Junior Reseacher)

itemar-shachar.jpg

Itamar Shachar is a PhD candidate at the Center for Social Theory since June 2012. His PhD project is aimed to explore the blurring boundaries between the corporate world and the civil society, through an ethnographic study of the emerging phenomenon of ‘corporate volunteering’.

In his Master thesis, written at the University of Amsterdam, he explored how transformations in political-economic arrangements and ethnic relations affect the ways in which the notion of ‘volunteering’ is constructed and promoted in the Israeli society.

In parallel to his academic training, Itamar has been engaged, as an employee and as a volunteer, in organizations working to promote the political and social rights of Palestinians and Israelis.

Contact

itamar.shachar@ugent.be

Allan Souza Queiroz

Allan Souza Queiroz holds a BA in Social Sciences from Federal University of Alagoas and a MA in Sociology from Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. He is a doctoral researcher at the Center for Social Theory since September 2013.

His research focuses on changes in the employment and working conditions of sugar cane cutters in Northeastern Brazil. More specifically, he aims to understand the relation between precarious forms of work and employment and the workers' mobility in the sugar agroindustry.

His research interests lies in sociology of work, employment relations, processes of precarization and oral history.

 

Contact

allan.souzaqueiroz@ugent.be

Ernst Thoutenhoofd

ernst.jpgErnst Thoutenhoofd is Reader in the Faculty of Education at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, and visiting scholar at the Center for Social Theory in 2017. His main research interest is in the sociology of new technologies and measurement, notably technocratic and data-driven means in the system of education.

Contact

ernst.thoutenhoofd@gu.se

 

Irakli Tsobekhia

Irakli Tsobekhia obtained his Master’s Degree in Conflictology at Tbilisi State University, Georgia. Now he is a doctoral researcher at the Department of Sociology at Ghent University.

His doctoral Research focuses on the distinct group identity of Muslim Meskhetians, who were forcefully deported from Soviet Georgia during Stalinist Period. The main goal of the research is to analyse the major obstacles for the successful integration of repatriated Meskhetians into Georgian society and to uncover the fundamentals of their group identity.

Essential questions of the research are: How do the Meskhetians view themselves?, How did their exile during Stalin’s rule impact their group identity?, To what extent are Meskhetians currently integrated into Georgian society?, Are their group identity and religion the main obstacles to the process of their integration into Georgian society? The Meskhetian case is analyzed in the broader theoretical context of nationalism, nation-formation and globalization."

Contact

irakli.tsobekhia@ugent.be

Frederik Van der Gucht (junior researcher, PS04)

frederik-van-der-gucht.jpgFrederik Van der Gucht holds a Master’s degree in Sociology. At the Center for Social Theory, he is currently preparing a Ph.D. dissertation provisionally entitled “Universities, Human Capital and the Knowledge Society”. He is mainly interested in the interaction between higher education and its societal environment, in the contribution of universities to the formation of the knowledge society. Using social-geographical and historical-sociological approaches, he focuses especially on shifting geographical differences with regard to educational and economic factors within Belgium and its regions.

Contact

frederik.vandergucht@ugent.be

 

Dirk Van Glabeke

dirk-van-glabeke.jpg

Dirk Van Glabeke is currently preparing his PhD dissertation at the Center for Social Theory.

The dissertation will be on the subject of the sociology of emotions, with as specific topic: rational decision making and the moral emotions, shame, guilt and pride.

Besides these subjects his main interests lie in the fields of social and moral norms, self, honor/respect, actor theories, social movements, the micro-macro link and historical sociology.

Contact

dirk.vanglabeke@ugent.be

 

Raf Vanderstraeten (professor, PS04)

Raf Vanderstraeten is University Professor and Professor of Sociology. His work is in the

field of socioraf-vanderstraeten.jpglogical theory, sociology of knowledge, sociology of religion, and sociology of education. Currently he is preparing a book on differentiation theory.

Contact:

raf.vanderstraeten@ugent.be

Rachel Waerniers

rachel_waerniers.jpgRachel Waerniers obtained her Master degree in Sociology (2012-2013) at Ghent University.

At present she is a teaching assistant at the Sociology department of this university and a doctoral researcher attached to the Centre for Social Theory.

Her research interests are situated within the domain of political sociology, more specifically she deals with questions of social capital and ethnic minorities. At the moment she’s focusing on the attachment of ethnic minorities to their neighborhood and the development of a local identity.

Contact

rachel.waerniers@ugent.be

Nathan Wittock

nathan-wittock.jpgNathan Wittock is a PhD Student at the Department of Sociology at Ghent University since November 2015. He obtained his Master in Sociology at Ghent University in 2014-2015, graduating in the Major Political Sociology. While his Master’s Thesis was on the sociology of mental health and illness, and the experiences of family members of people diagnosed with a psychiatric illness, his current research further expands on his interests in the fields of political sociology, Science and Technology Studies, and the sociology of health. Currently he is working on different aspects of the Blood Economy, studying the interplay of social constructions and material aspects that provide blood(-products) with meaning and causes sociotechnical controversies.

Contact

Nathan.Wittock@ugent.be