Dr. Hilje van der Horst is a Sociologist and Human Geographer and works as Assistant Professor at the Wageningen University in the chair group Consumption and Healthy Lifestyles. Previously she was a researcher at the Department of European Ethnology at the Meertens Institute (Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences) and at the OTB Research Institute at Delft University of Technology. She obtained her PhD from the University of Amsterdam with a thesis on migration and material culture.
Her research aims at better understanding the role of mundane practices of consumption in societal challenges and transitions, relating to health, sustainability and social identities. As a first domain of study, she looks at everyday consumer practices relating to food, food waste and food poverty. This research aims to understand the kinds of lay expertise and skill relating to food consumers employ in their everyday consumption practices, including how to prepare and when to discard food. Understanding how food related skills can offer further insight in both opportunities and obstacles for a transitions towards a more healthy and sustainable food system.
A second domain of study looks at household practices relating to energy use and self-monitoring, in order to better understand both the obstacles and opportunities that such practices entail for a transition towards renewable energy sources.
Lastly, her research looks at the ways in which emotions and social identities are entwined with consumption practices. For example, she looks at how ethnic identities are expressed through consumption and how certain forms of consumption are invested with emotions and a sense of (ethnic) ownership.
In addition, in research on receivers of food assistance from food banks, she surveyed the emotional effects of being reliant on this secondary source of food for food needs within a broader context of food related normativity.
- editorial board member at the International Journal of Consumer Research,
- board member of the Dutch Sociological Association
- chair of the Programme Committee Communication and Health
For publications please check my Google scholar profile.
I am the education coordinator of the CHL group. In that capacity students can come to me with questions about courses, theses and internships.