**Michaël Berghman** (1984) is Assistant Professor of Sociology of Art and Culture at the Erasmus School for History, Culture and Communication.
Michaël studied Sociology at the University of Antwerp and the University of Leuven. Given his extracurricular activities in graphic design, music and theatre, it was no surprise that he was drawn to the arts and culture as study domains. However, he also discovered a profound interest in social inequality (in both its hard and subtler forms). A combination of these interests he found in Cultural Sociology.
This inspired him to pursue a PhD project entitled 'Context with a Capital C. On the symbolic contextualization of artistic artefacts' at the Centre for Sociological Research (KU Leuven). In the project he used a multidisciplinary approach to study art perception. Applying a combination of experimental and survey methodology, he studied the impact of context on visual art appreciation.
He was also biefly involved in research on poverty and pension protection.
After finishing his PhD, he joined Project UMA at the Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering (TU Delft). As a postdoctoral researcher, he was involved in the development of a unified model of aesthetics, integrating various psychological principles of aesthetic pleasure.
In 2016, Michaël joined the Department of Arts and Culture Studies, where he teaches on cultural sociology (at various levels) and introduces students to the methods of data collection. He is coordinator for the ACW programme.
His main research interests involve the perception and appreciation of cultural products (whether popular culture, fine art or design) and how they are patterned in social stratification. In particular, he is interested in the embodiment and malleability of taste.