This paper uses symbolic violence as one way of interpreting the lived experiences of early career researchers (ECRs) in the neoliberal University. We focus on marketing ECRs as business schools epitomise the highly market-mediated, performative, and managerialist ideology of the contemporary neoliberal University which facilitates symbolic violence. Specifically, marketing education, with its orientation towards market logic, has been identified as aligning with the neoliberal paradigm. We draw on qualitative narrative interviews with 16 United Kingdom and Australian ECRs in marketing to demonstrate how symbolic violence is produced and reproduced through institutions, ideology, language and discourse, and social relations. We find that while ECRs are not entirely subjugated by symbolic violence in the neoliberal University–with some participants displaying critically reflexive awareness and resistance, we also find that they can be complicit and serve to reproduce the system through seeking to learn and play the game of academia, rather than change it. We argue that symbolic violence offers a framework to help conceptualise the neoliberal University. Further, we submit that instrumental advice to marketing ECRs on how to navigate a life in academia is not enough and that critical reflexivity, resistance, and social action to oppose symbolic violence and the ideology of the neoliberal University is required to achieve emancipation.