Inge van Schipstal

  • Junior Researcher
  • Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences Program group Anthropology of Health, Care and the Body

Inge van Schipstal is a junior researcher within the ChemicalYouth project. Trained as an urban sociologist who likes ethnography, she is interested in the concepts of social bonding, autonomy, trust, risk taking and risk avoidance. She studied these in various social groups: from squatters in Berlin to polydrug-using youth in Amsterdam and Dutch pregnant women and young mothers.


Inge started off studying recreational drug use within friendship groups in Amsterdam and Utrecht: how can regular substance use among young adults (aged 21-33) within the techno party circuit facilitate social bonding and group solidarity? She focused on private afterparties, because the spatial and temporal aspects of this kind of party drug use offer the necessary prerequisites to engage in intensified social bonding. Sharing drugs acts as a ritual binding mechanism which creates a strong sense of an in-group, heightened group solidarity and vast community spirit.

Together with Hayley Murray, Swasti Mishra and Moritz Berning, she also wrote about how young people navigate risks and reduce harms associated with psychoactive drug use. Currently Inge works on Dutch pregnant women and new mothers; to what extent do they trust their own bodies and abilities, how do they interpret risk and how does this relate to the (medical) assistance they receive?

This research forms part of the ChemicalYouth grand tour in the Netherlands