Sterkenburg van PhD, J.C. (Jacco)

Assistant Professor

Biographical Note

Jacco van Sterkenburg works as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Media & Communication at Erasmus University. He obtained his PhD at the Humanities faculty of Utrecht University in 2011. In addition, Jacco has an MA (Drs.) degree in Psychology at Utrecht University with a specialization in Cross-cultural Psychology. Jacco van Sterkenburg’s dissertation Race, Ethnicity and the Sport Media dealt with sport media representations of race/ethnicity and gender and the use of race/ethnicity in sport policy. After his PhD, his attention shifted towards exploring audience constructions of race/ethnicity, gender, and (dis)ability in the sport media. In addition to that, he explores diversity in sport and sport leadership and management. Before starting at Erasmus University in March 2013, Jacco worked as a researcher and lecturer with the Media and Culture Studies department and the Utrecht School of Governance (both Utrecht University) on these topics (2011-2013). From 2002 until 2007, he worked as a researcher at the Mulier Institute, a Dutch centre for social science research in sports. 


For the past years, Jacco van Sterkenburg’s research focused in particular on the following topics:

  • race/ethnicity and gender in mediated football in an internationally comparative perspective;
  • media, migration and diversity in a Dutch and European perspective;
  • cultural racism, migration and whiteness in society at large and in football in particular;
  • Diversity in sport, football governance and football management
  • the Paralympics on television.

Jacco’s research has gained recognition inside and outside academia. This is evident from academic awards such as a Research Excellence Initiative grant (REI, as a co-applicant) (2015/16), the EUR Fellowship Grant (2015), the Erasmus Research Prize (2014), a Revalidatiefonds grant (2012), UEFA and FIFA scholarships (2012; 2010) and visiting faculty visits abroad (Leeds, Copenhagen, London). 


Van Sterkenburg has published a variety of books, book chapters, and articles in peer-refereed journals such as Media Culture & Society, Journal of Sport and Social Issues, International Review for the Sociology of Sport, Soccer & Society and Journal of Multicultural Discourses. He has (co-)edited books and journals in his area of interest and participated in advisory committees, popular fora, debates, and TV programs.

Teaching and management

Jacco’s teaching focuses on intercultural communication, media and diversity, audience reception research and theory, politics of representation, sociology of sport, and qualitative research methods. Currently, Jacco van Sterkenburg is also a Visiting Research Fellow at Mulier Institute, a member of Young Erasmus, he serves as an editorial board member for several international journals and is one of the twelve Advisory Board Members of the International Sociology of Sport Association (ISSA) (2016-19).