Sonia Bookman, Ph.D.

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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


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.  I have also developed a course on the Sociology of Consumption. 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:

Tiffany Hall (Ph.D. Sociology and Criminology, current)

Katelyn Mackenzie (M.A. Sociology and Criminology, 2018) “Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women in Canadian Crime Films” (advisor)

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 interests:

Brands and branding, consumer culture, cosmopolitanism, urban space and sociality; I am particularly interested in the social and cultural implications of the variety of brands and branding, especially as they relate to cosmopolitan consumption and class. I am also interested in the interplay of film and society, and how media such as films construct an urban imaginary. Along with these research interests, I have a general interest in cultural theory.

Recent research projects:

Current: Frozen Justice: A Century of Crime in Canadian Film (2016-2020, PI Kohm, CAs Bookman, Greenhill, Braithwate, $208,040)

SSHRC-funded project that explores Canadian crime films, considering both contents and contexts of production in order to understand how such films represent issues of law, order, justice, and crime in Canadian society, as well as how these representations relate to the broad political, historical, economic, and social contexts of Canadian crime production and dissemination. As CA, I focus on Canadian crime film and the urban imaginary -- how the city is represented through a criminological lens -- as well as the contexts of crime film production in Winnipeg's film industry.

A video series based on the project can be accessed at:

Current: Global Brands, Consumption, and Cosmopolitan Culture (2019-, PI Bookman, funded by two MITACs Globalink Research Internships, University of Manitoba Research Leave Additional Travel and Expense Funds, as well as RA support from the Department of Sociology and Criminology)

This project examines how global brands, from Starbucks to Swarovski, have become an important site for the articulation and performance of everyday cosmopolitanism. It explores how leading global brands are configured as cosmopolitan citizens through their involvement with corporate social responsibility (CSR), and critically examines the ways in which consumers are encouraged to identify with, and perform a kind of cosmopolitanism through consumption activity. The research involves a combination of qualitative strategies, including case study methods, textual and visual analysis, participation observation, social media analysis, and interviews. Case studies will be conducted of specific global brands and their involvement with CSR. Using textual and visual analysis as well as participant observation, the project will examine how the brands (via CSR) establish contexts of consumption that support cosmopolitan performances -- ways of being, feeling, and acting cosmopolitan with the brand. A social media analysis of brand communities will consider how individuals engage with the cosmopolitan possibilities afforded by brands, examining practices, discourses, and visual information shared online. Interviews with brand management and consumers will further explore processes of branding and consumption practices, especially considering how consumers use global brands to express cosmopolitan identities and sensibilities, and how the interplay of brands and consumers co-creates and shapes particular cosmopolitan cultures.

Selected Publications


Bookman, S. (2017). Brands and the City: Entanglements and Implications for Urban Life. London: Routledge.

Kohm, S., Bookman, S., and Greenhill, P., (Eds.) (2017). Screening Justice: Canadian Crime Films, Culture and Society. Winnipeg: Fernwood Publishing.

Journal Articles

Bookman, S. and Hall, T. (2019). Global Brands, Youth, and Cosmopolitan Consumption: Instagram Performances of Branded Moral Cosmopolitanism. Youth and Globalization (Inaugural Issue: The Rise and Fall of Cosmopolitanism) 1 (1): 107-137.

Bookman, S. (2018). Urban Imaginaries in Canadian Crime Film: Entanglements of Crime and Place in Running with the Hitman. Annual Review of Interdisciplinary Justice Research 7: 15-41.

Masuda, J. and Bookman, S. (2018; online first, 2016). Neighbourhood Branding and the Right to the City. Progress in Human Geography 42 (2): 165-182. DOI:

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: Defining Order in Winnipeg's Exchange District. Social and Cultural Geography 14 (3): 300-317.

Bookman. S. (2013; online first 2012). Branded Cosmopolitanisms: ‘Global’ Coffee Brands and the Co-creation of ‘Cosmopolitan Cool’. Cultural Sociology 7 (1): 56-72.

Bookman, S. (2013). Coffee Brands, Class and Culture in a Canadian City. European Journal of Cultural Studies 16 (4): 405-423.

Book Chapters

Bookman, S. (Forthcoming). Communication and Mass Media. In R. Brym (Ed.) New Society (9th edition). Toronto: Nelson Education. (Book chapter under contract, expected publication 2020).

Bookman, S. (Forthcoming). Pumpkin Spice Lattes: Marking the Seasons with Brands. In T. Davidson and O. Park (Eds.) Seasonal Sociology. Toronto: Toronto University Press. (Book currently under contract, expected publication 2019).

Kohm, S., Bookman, S. and Greenhill, P. (2017). Ideology, Popular Criminology and Place in Canadian Crime Films. In Kohm, S., Bookman, S. and Greenhill, P. (Eds.) Screening Justice: Canadian Crime Films, Culture and Society (pp. 1-19). Winnipeg: Fernwood Publishing.

Bookman, S. and Gacek, J. (2017). The Mean Streets of Winnipeg: Entanglements of Crime and Place in Film. In Kohm, S., Bookman, S. and Greenhill, P. (Eds.) Screening Justice: Canadian Crime Films, Culture and Society (pp. 98-115). Winnipeg: Fernwood Publishing.

Bookman, S. (2017). Communication and Mass Media. In R. Brym (Ed.) New Society (8th edition) (pp. 125-144). Toronto: Nelson Education.

Bookman, S. (2016). Cultural Sociology: Brands. In Inglis, D. and Almila, A. (Eds.) The Sage Handbook of Cultural Sociology (pp. 578-589). London: Sage.

Bookman, S. (2014). 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. (2014). “Responsibilization and Governmentality in Social Partnerships. In M. Seitanidi and A. Crane (Eds.) Social Partnerships and Responsible Business: A Research Handbook (pp. 288-305). Oxford: Routledge.

Bookman, S. (2013). Social Media: Implications for Social Life. In R. Brym (Ed.) Society in Question (7th edition) (pp. 64-74). Toronto: Nelson Education.

Bookman, S. (2011). Feeling Cosmopolitan: Experiential Coffee Brands and Urban Cosmopolitan Sensibilities. In D. Spencer and K. Walby (Eds.) Emotions Matter (pp. 240-259). Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

Bookman, S. (2011). Media, Consumption, and Everyday Life. In W. Straw, S. Gabriele and I. Wagman (Eds.) Intersections of Media and Communications: Concepts and Critical Frameworks. (pp. 267-288). Toronto: Edmond Montgomery Publications.

Bookman, S. (2010). Consumer Culture, Cirty Space, and Urban Life. In H. Hiller (Ed.) Urban Canada: Sociological Perspectives (2nd edition) (pp. 258-275). Toronto: Oxford University Press.

updated: May 2019