Sociaaldemocratische jazz en roomse kruideniers | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 127, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 0040-7518
  • E-ISSN: 2352-1163



The phenomenon of pillarization is a process of social division according to party-political lines that developed at the end of the nineteenth and in the first half of the twentieth century in Belgium and the Netherlands. Parties created networks to provide for their supporters from the cradle to the grave. The literature on this subject does not show whether contemporaries were conscious of the so-called pillars. By making a conceptual history of pillarization between 1899 and 1950 for Belgium and the Netherlands, this article tries to give an insight into the experience and thoughts of contemporaries witnessing the development of this social separation. Because the concept of pillarization is problematic, the actual subject of this research will not be the concept, but the semantic field of pillarization. The history of this field shows dynamics of consciousness and sheds a new light on the relationship between the Belgian and Dutch experiences.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): Belgium; conceptual history; Pillarization; semantic field; the Netherlands
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