I have always been curious about 'the way things work', about social processes, systems, forms of organisation, and the way these vary from place to place and change over time. Empirical research, teaching and publishing provide me with many opportunities to investigate such processes, whether it be through the examination of published documents, interviewing people to listen to the story of their lives, or using statistical data. And whether the focus of the research is the operation of a health service, or the way individuals give meaning to a behaviour or practice, there are always opportunities to reveal hidden forms of injustice and develop alternative social processes or forms of organisation that are more equitable.
I situate my work within two main areas of research interest: the sociology of health and the sociology of knowledge. In the sociology of health, my focus has been on the relationship between the state and the health industry, the privatisation and contracting-out of public assets and services, and the tensions inherent in marrying private with public services – specifically the way these impact on patient choices and the financing of health services. In the sociology of knowledge, my interests are in knowledge regimes, the history of sociology, the history of disciplines and knowledge institutions, and the mechanisms through which knowledge 'travels' and 'mutates' across sectors, disciplines and countries. I produced the history webpages for The Australian Sociological Association (http://www.tasa.org.au/about-tasa/tasa-history/)
I have held several major grants. The most recent has been as Chief Investigator of the study, Knowledge-Making in Australian Society: Sociology and its Social Impact. This three-year program, funded by the Australian Research Council, examines the history of Australian sociology, its institutional formation, the careers and life trajectories of sociologists, and the use of sociological knowledge in public discourse, media, policy development and legislation. Analytical work is underway and publications in process.
Previous major grants include two, three-year grants from the Australian Research Council (2013 - 2015). The first was Global Arenas of Knowledge: Centre/Periphery Relations and Change in Knowledge Production on a World Scale. This was an international study in collaboration with Raewyn Connell, Joao Maia and Robert Morrell, and examined the production of knowledge in three countries of the global South – Brazil, South Africa and Australia – and across three knowledge domains, HIV/AIDs, gender and climate change. The empirical focus was the production of knowledge across multiple disciplines in post-colonial settings and the impact of the hegemonic practices and structures of the global North on knowledge practices, as well as their effect on the careers of scholars, policy analysts and related knowledge workers. The study culminated in several journal papers and the monograph, Knowledge and Global Power(2019, Monash University Press). The second, three-year project, was also an international collaboration, with Karen Willis, Sophie Lewis, Stephanie Short, Jonathon Gabe and Michael Calnan, and investigated the way patients and health workers navigate the Australian healthcare system. The study produced several journal papers and the edited collection, Navigating Healthcare: Experiences of Patients, Doctors and Policy Makers (with Willis, 2020, Palgrave).
I have supervised seven PhD students to completion as primary supervisor, another five as an associate supervisor, and currently have three nearing completion. These postgraduate students have produced theses in the areas of health, welfare and medicine (including the marketisation and privatisation of health services), the sociology of risk, gender and sexuality (and transsexuality), science and technology, urban transport and development, mental health, and youth studies. I particularly welcome enquiries from students interested in the history and institutional development of the academic disciplines, the processes of knowledge production and exchange in either national or global contexts, and other projects in the sociology of knowledge.
Collyer, F.M. and Willis, K.F. (2020) (eds) Navigating Healthcare: Experiences of Patients, Doctors and Policy Makers Palgrave Macmillan.
Collyer, F.M.; Connell, R.; Maia, J. and Morrell, R. (2019) Knowledge and Global Power: Making New Sciences in the South. Monash University Press.
Collyer, F.M. (2015) (ed) The Palgrave Handbook of Social Theory in Health, Illness and Medicine Palgrave Macmillan: Houndmills Basingstoke.
Collyer, F.M. (2012) Mapping the Sociology of Health and Medicine: America, Britain and Australia Compared Palgrave Macmillan: Houndmills, Basingstoke.
Selected Recent Articles/chapters
Collyer, F.M. and Williams Veazey, L. (2021) 'The State of the Discipline: Australian Sociology and its Future' Journal of Sociology(https://doi.org/10.1177/14407833211041402).
Collyer, F.M. and Manning, B. (2021) ‘Writing National Histories of Sociology: Methods, Approaches and Visions’ Journal of Sociology(https://doi.org/10.1177/14407833211006177).
Collyer, F.M. (2021) 'Australia and the Global South: Knowledge and the Ambiguities of Place and Identity' Journal of Historical Sociology 34(1):1-14. (https://doi.org/10.1111/johs.12312).
Asimakopoulou, K.; Hoorens, V.; Speed, E.; Coulson, N.; Antoniszczak, D.; Collyer, F.M.; Deschrijver, E. et al. (2020) 'Comparative Optimism About Infection and Recovery From COVID-19; Implications for Adherence with Lockdown Advice' Health Expectations23(6):1502-1511.
Lewis, S.; Willis, K. and Collyer, F.M. (2018) ‘Navigating and Making Choices About Healthcare: The Role of Place’ Health and Place52: 215–220.
Connell, R.; Pearse, R.; Collyer, F.M.; Maia, J. and Morrell, R. (2018) ‘Negotiating with the North: How Southern-tier Intellectual Workers Deal with the Global Economy of Knowledge’ The Sociological Review 66(1): 41-57.
Collyer, F.M. (2018) ‘Global Patterns in the Publishing of Academic Knowledge: Global North, Global South’ Current Sociology 66(1): 56-73.
Collyer, F.M. (2018) 'Envisaging the Healthcare Sector as a Field? Moving From Talcott Parsons to Pierre Bourdieu' Social Theory and Health 16(2):111-126.
Lewis, S.; Collyer, F.M., Willis, K.; Harley, K.; Marcus, K.; Calnan, M. and Gabe, J. (2018) ‘Healthcare in the News Media: The Privileging of Private Over Public' Journal of Sociology 54(4):574-590.
Connell, R.; Pearse, R.; Collyer, F.M.; Maia, J. and Morrell, R. (2018) ‘Re-making the Global Economy of Knowledge: North-South Relations in New Fields of Knowledge’ British Journal of Sociology 69(3): 738-57.
Connell, R.; Collyer, F.M.; Maia, J. and Morrell, R. (2017) ‘Toward a Global Sociology of Knowledge: Post-Colonial Realities and Intellectual Practices’ International Sociology 32(1):21-37.
Collyer, F.M. (2017) ‘From Nation Building to Neo-Liberalism: The Development of Sociology in Australia’ in Korgen, K. (ed) The Cambridge Handbook of Sociology, Volume One. Cambridge University Press, pp. 82-94.
Collyer, F.M.; Harley, K. and Short, S.D. (2015) ‘Money and Markets in Australia’s Healthcare System’ in Meagher, G. and Goodwin, S. (eds) Markets, Rights and Power in Australian Social Policy Sydney University Press: Sydney. pp. 257-91.
Collyer, F.M. (2015) ‘Practices of Conformity and Resistance in the Marketisation of the Academy: Bourdieu, Professionalism and Academic Capitalism’ Critical Studies in Education 56(3):315-31.