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

Recently defended PhD student Roger Pizarro Milian has published (with Scott Davies and David Zarifa) "Barriers to Differentiation: Applying Organizational Studies to Ontario Higher Education." in the Canadian Journal of Higher Education, 46(1): 19-37. This piece examines organizational forces that mediate the efficacy of current differentiation policies within the Ontario public university sector.

May 02, 2016

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.