Sonia Bookman, Ph.D.

 

Bio

Education:

Ph.D., Sociology, University of Manchester, 2006
M.A. (Econ.), Development Studies, University of Manchester, 2001
B.A. (Hons.), Sociology, International Development Studies, Women’s Studies, University of Winnipeg, 2000

Teaching

Cultural sociology, media, and urban sociology.  I regularly teach the undergraduate courses Introduction to Sociology, Cities and Urban Life, as well as Media, Culture and Society.  At the graduate level, I teach a seminar on Consumer Culture, and have supervised several graduate students working in the areas of media, culture, and consumption. 

Thesis Supervision

I am interested in supervising potential graduate students working in the areas of media, culture, and consumption. So far, I have advised the following graduate students:

Scott McCulloch (M.A. Sociology, 2014) “Reimaging Urban Space: The Festival as a (Re)Branding Vehicle For Inscribing Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside as Japantown” (advisor)

Michelle Gorea (M.A. Sociology, 2014) “The ‘Fluidity’ of Beings Portrayed through Human-Robot Interaction: An Analysis of Human-to-Roomba Robot Relations” (advisor)

Jenna Jones (M.A. Sociology, 2013) (advisor) “Models as Cultural Intermediaries: A Discourse Analysis of the Program “Britain and Ireland’s Next Top Model” (advisor)

Aaron Klassen (M.A. Sociology 2011) “Notating Indie Culture: Aesthetics of Authenticity” (advisor)

Brittny Trubyk (M.A. Sociology 2010) “Stay Out of Gangs: A Visual Analysis of the Campaign” (advisor)

Research

Research interests:

Brands and branding, consumer culture, urban space and sociality; I am particularly interested in the social and cultural implications of the variety of brands and branding. Along with these research interests, I have a general interest in cultural theory. 

Brands and branding, consumer culture, urban space and sociality; I am particularly interested in the social and cultural implications of the variety of brands and branding. Along with these research interests, I have a general interest in cultural theory. 

Recent research projects:

Current: “Revitalizing Japantown?  A Unifying Exploration of Human Rights, Branding, and Place in Vanvcouver’s Downtown Eastside.” (Funded by a 2012 SSHRC Partnership Development Grant) 

I am currently co-investigator of a three-year research project “Revitalizing Japantown?  A Unifying Exploration of Human Rights, Branding, and Place in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.”  The main goal of the project is to explore the complex relationship between the way human rights unfold in place, and how this is bound up with contemporary efforts to re-brand and revitalize urban space, focusing on Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside (DTES). The project aims to create a ‘living history’ of human rights in the DTES, focusing on historically contiguous connections between communities past and present.  It will open a dialogue among the partners’ networks of community leaders to surface this human rights history for the purpose of making past achievements relevant to present-day manifestations of stigma and social injustice in the neighbourhood.  It will also support the development of several arts-aligned knowledge mobilization tools (community reports, publications) and research-aligned arts performances (documentary film, photography exhibits) that aim to widely commemorate the status of the DTES as a nationally significant site for Canadian human rights history and achievement.

Making Movies, Revitalizing Urban Space: The Film Industry and Re-imaging of the Exchange District, Winnipeg

I am also pursuing a research project that explores the relationship between the film industry and the regeneration of the Exchange. The project considers the dual economic and cultural impact of the film industry as a productive enterprise that has been targeted in creative city initiatives and valued for its economic contributions to the Exchange, as well as well as a cultural form that produces narratives and images that are harnessed to create a distinctive place identity.

Selected Publications

Journal Articles

Bookman, S. 2014. “Urban Brands, Culture and Social Division: Creativity, Tension and Differentiation Among Middle Class Consumers.” Journal of Consumer Culture, 14(3): 324-342.

Bookman, S. 2014; Online first, 2013. “Brands and Urban Life: Specialty Coffee, Consumers and the Co- creation of Urban Café Sociality.” Space and Culture, 17 (1): 85-99.

Bookman, S. and Woolford, A. 2013. “Policing (by) the Brand: Urban Branding, Private Police and Social Exclusion.” Social and Cultural Geography.

Bookman. S. 2013; Online first 2012. “Branded Cosmopolitanisms: ‘Global’ Coffee Brands and the Co-creation of ‘Cosmopolitan Cool’.” Cultural Sociology.

Bookman, S. 2013. “Coffee Brands, Class and Culture in a Canadian City.” European Journal of Cultural Studies.

Book Chapters

Bookman, S. “The Mass Media.” In R. Brym (Ed.) New Society (7th edition). Toronto: Nelson Education (expected publication 2015).

Bookman, S. “Consumer Culture, City Space, and Urban Life” (revised). (2014) In H. Hiller (Ed.), Urban Canada: Sociological Perspectives (3rd edition). Toronto: Oxford University Press.

Bookman, S. and Martens, C. (2013) “ Responsibilization and Governmentality in Social Partnerships.” In M. Seitanidi and A. Crane (Eds.) Social Partnerships and Responsible Business: A Research Handbook. Oxford: Routledge (expected publication 2013).

Bookman, S. 2013. “Social Media: Implications for Social Life”. In R. Brym (Ed.) Society in Question. Toronto: Nelson Education.

Bookman, S. 2011. “Feeling Cosmopolitan: Experiential Coffee Brands and Urban Cosmopolitan Sensibilities”. In D. Spencer and K. Walby (Eds.) Emotions Matter. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

Bookman, S. 2011. “Consumption, Media and Everyday Life”. In W. Straw, S. Gabriele and I. Wagman (Eds.) Intersections of Media and Communications: Concepts and Critical Frameworks. Toronto: Emond Montgomery Publications.

updated: April 2015