Feelings as traces of colonialism. The online debate about compensation for the Indo-European community in the Netherlands analyzed through the sociology of emotions.

  • T. Bouwmeester

Student thesis: Master's Thesis: Humanistic Studies


This thesis investigates the contemporary online debate about compensation for the Indo-European community in the Netherlands, using the sociology of emotions as a theoretical lens. It consists of a qualitative text analysis of posts and comments in the Indo-European blogosphere, respectively from Blimbing, Indisch4Ever and Java Post. Readers’ letters published in Moesson – a monthly magazine devoted to the Indo-European community – are used as an additional source. Anger is a prominent emotion in the Indo-European blogosphere. Differentiating the range of emotions revolving around compensation allows for the act of being angry to be seen as an act of emancipation in a postcolonial context, in which behaviour previously reserved to the former colonizer, is appropriated. However fulfilling the performance of anger may be on the individual level, it complicates the possibilities for dialogue on a societal level by enforcing opposing identities of protestors versus government. This leads commenters in the Indo-European blogosphere to continue to regard the Dutch government with distance and distrust. It also causes the debate about compensation to rarely transcend its financial level, rather than be regarded as part of a wider process of recognition.
Date of Award1 Jan 2018
Original languageAmerican English
SupervisorN. L. Immler (Supervisor) & Caroline Suransky (Supervisor)

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