Laura Keesman

pers1 1I am a PhD candidate at the department of Sociology at the University of Amsterdam and the Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR). I am affiliated with The Amsterdam Center for Conflict Studies (ACCS) and a Visiting Research Fellow at Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia. I hold a Bachelor’s of Applied Sciences in Social Work (Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences) and a Master in Cultural Sociology (University of Amsterdam).

My main research interests are: (the micro-sociology of) violence – policing – the sociology of emotions – embodiment studies – ethnomethodology – symbolic interactionism – phenomenology – performativity – and visual methods. I am also interested in classical and cultural sociology in general.

Previously I worked as a social worker in a domestic violence shelter in Sioux Falls, South-Dakota, U.S.A and a homeless shelter of the Salvation Army in the Red Light District in Amsterdam. I continued this job during my sociological studies, which has culminated into over seven years of experience in the homeless community and care giving facilities. This is where I became intrigued by violence and group dynamics during tense interactions. I conducted research on the situational and emotional dynamics of violent situations and the lived experiences of tension and fear among social workers in homeless shelters for my master thesis. This has led to a publication on the emotional and bodily processes of social workers and how they manage these in Journal of Social Work: ‘Bodies and emotions in tense and threatening situations’. In 2016-2017 I worked as a junior lecturer at the Department of Sociology at the University of Amsterdam and as a researcher at RIGO Research en Advies, a commercial research agency.

Currently, as a PhD, I study violent incidents in policing. I specifically focus on how police officers deal with tense and threatening situations (see more at The Group Violence Research Program). My new publication in Poetics zooms in on

Finally, and in addition to my research, I am a tutorial teacher in theoretical courses for the BA Sociology, supervise BA thesis on violence, sexual harassment, and police related topics, provide guest lectures in various MA classes such as the ‘Minor Violence’ and ‘Body, Emotions and Culture’, as well as an individual reading course in the Research Master Social Sciences, and am a departmental internship supervisor.