The American Sociologist

, Volume 48, Issue 2, pp 172–191 | Cite as

Canadian Sociology for Sale? Academic Branding in the ‘Neo-Liberal Age’

  • Roger Pizarro MilianEmail author
  • Neil McLaughlin


Narratives about the influence of neo-liberal forces on post-secondary education are legion within the contemporary literature. Some have recently argued that the promotional tactics used by Canadian sociology departments reflect the broader corporatization of the system, highlighting the vocationalization of the discipline at the hands of market forces. We conduct a mixed-methods analysis of the marketing practises used by English-speaking sociology departments in Canada and find only limited support for this argument. Instead, observed promotional tactics appear to be quite diverse, aimed at multiple stakeholders, and reflecting the complex institutional environment in which sociology departments operate.


Canada Departments Marketing 



The authors would like to thank the creators of Rapidminer Studio for making this powerful tool available free of charge to academics. Without their generosity this paper would look very different.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologyMcMaster UniversityHamiltonCanada

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