Dr Jonathan Mijs

Dr Jonathan Mijs

Visiting Fellow

International Inequalities Institute

Connect with me

Dutch, English
Key Expertise
Stratification, Education, Race/Ethnicity, Morality, Methods

About me

Jonathan Mijs is a Lecturer on Sociology at Harvard University and a Visiting Fellow at the International Inequalities Institute at LSE. He previously served as an Assistant Professorial Research Fellow at the Institute (2017-2019).

Jonathan's research asks why so many people in the west hold meritocratic explanations of poverty and wealth in contexts of growing economic inequality. His work explores the cultural and cognitive causes of the disconnect between meritocratic perception and unequal reality -- and explores its political consequences.

His work has been published in the Socio-Economic Review, European Sociological Review, Sociology of Education, and the Annual Review of Sociology, among other journals, and has featured in The Guardian, The Washington Post, Financial Times, The Independent and at TEDx London.

For more information about his work, including links to papers and photography, see his personal website here

Expertise Details

Stratification; Education; Race/Ethnicity; Morality; Methods


Savage, M and Mijs, Jonathan J.B. 2020. "Meritocracy, elitism and inequality" Political Quarterly.

Mijs, Jonathan J.B.
2020. "Earning rent with your talent: modern-day inequality rests on the power to define, transfer and institutionalize talent" Educational Philosophy and Theory.

Gidron and Mijs, Jonathan J.B. 2019. "Do changes in material circumstances drive support for populist radical parties? Panel data evidence from The Netherlands during the Great Recession, 2007–2015." European Sociological Review.

Mijs, Jonathan J.B. 2019. "The Paradox of Inequality: Income Inequality and Belief in Meritocracy go Hand in Hand." Socio-Economic Review 0(0): 1–29.

Mijs, Jonathan J.B. 2018. "Visualizing Belief in Meritocracy, 1930–2010." Socius 4(1):1-2.

Mijs, Jonathan J.B. 2018. "Inequality Is a Problem of Inference: How People Solve the Social Puzzle of Unequal Outcomes." Societies 8(3): 64.

Mijs, Jonathan J.B. 2016. “Stratified failure: Educational stratification and students’ attributions of their mathematics performance.Sociology of Education 89(2): 137-153. 

Mijs, Jonathan J.B. 2016. “The unfulfillable promise of meritocracy: Three lessons and their implications for justice in education.Social Justice Research 29(1): 14-34.

Mijs, Jonathan J.B., and Bowen Paulle. 2016. “The burden of acting wise: Sanctioned school success and ambivalence about hard work at an elite school in the Netherlands.” Intercultural Education 27(1): 22-38.

Mijs, Jonathan J.B., Elyas Bakhtiari, and Michèle Lamont. 2016. “Neoliberalism and symbolic boundaries in Europe: Global diffusion, local context, regional variation.Socius 2: 1-8.

Mijs, Jonathan J.B. 2016. “The missing organizational dimension of prisoner reentry: An ethnography of the road to reentry at a nonprofit service provider.Sociological Forum 31(2): 291-309.

Mijs, Jonathan J.B. 2015.Blurred lines: Structure/agency, presence/vacancy in Detroit’s urban museum.City & Community 14(2): 183-5.

Mijs, Jonathan J.B. 2014.Detroit’s wealth of ruins.Contexts 13(2): 62-69.

Mijs, Jonathan J.B. 2011.Review of ‘Inheriting the city: The children of immigrants come of age’ by Philip Kasinitz, Mary Waters, John H. Mollenkopf. Teacher College Record 16306.

Van de Werfhorst, Herman G., and Jonathan J.B. Mijs. 2010.Achievement inequality and the institutional structure of educational systems: A comparative perspective.Annual Review of Sociology 36: 407-428.

Crul, Maurice, Adel Pasztor, Frans Lelie, Jonathan J.B. Mijs, and Philipp Schnell. 2009. Snakes and ladders in educational systems: Second generation Turkish students in Europe compared. The Hague: NICIS Institute.

Mijs, Jonathan J.B. 2008.Meritocracy or plutocracy? Finding explanations for the educational disadvantages of Moroccan immigrants living in the Netherlands.Amsterdam Social Science 1(1): 44-70.