Neoliberalism and Academia in Communication and Media Studies: A New Institutional Framework

  • Ángel Carrasco-Campos University of Valladolid
  • Enric Saperas King Juan Carlos University
Keywords: neoliberal university, dominant paradigm, peer-reviewed journals, scholarly associations, university rankings


The disciplinary field of communication refers to a changing object of study, whose material delimitation depends on the political, socioeconomic and technological contexts in which it develops. These factors must be considered as structural elements, as they determine the knowledge demands and agenda of academia. This article aims to describe the keys to understanding the influence of neoliberalism as an ideology and structure in the academic institutionalisation of the field of communication. The analysis will take into special consideration the institutional dimension of research activity as a determining factor to understand the standards that define the dominant paradigm in neoliberal academia. These standards are shared by professionals in relation to working routines, research methodologies, objects of study, theoretical procedures, academic contexts, and dominant traditions, as well as strategies for the development of professional careers.