Libertarian Populism, Neoliberal Rationality, and the Mandatory Long-form Census: Implications for Sociology

William Ramp, Trevor W. Harrison


This article argues the Canadian government’s decision in 2010 to eliminate the mandatory long-form census constitutes a mobilizing appeal to libertarian populism commensurate not only with neoliberal concepts of individualism, private property, and the role of the state, but also with a redefinition of what counts as valid argumentation and a legitimate basis for making knowledge claims. This rationale has implications for sociological research and theory, for the profession of sociology, and for a sociological vision of society.


populism; governmentality; individualism; state; property; privacy

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