Dr Jennifer Wilkinson

Senior Lecturer in Sociology, Co-ordinator Honours in Sociology and Social Policy

A26 - R.C. Mills Building
The University of Sydney

Telephone +61 2 9036 9481

Website Contact Details

Research interests

Before coming to the University of Sydney, my research had focussed primarily on the public sphere as an agent of democratic and social transformation. This earlier research suggested that the public sphere was not just discursive but was grounded in sociability, social interaction and informal associations. This relational emphasis reflected what I learned from my doctoral study of Australian left political transformation and my attempts at applying various concepts of the public sphere, developed in the work of Habermas, Simmel, Goffman and de Tocqueville. My interest in sociological theory, sociability, the public sphere, intimate association and the micro-sociology of public life continues to inform my research as well as my teaching (SCLG 2601 Sociological Theory ; SCLG 2625 Sociology of Friendship, SCLG 4012 Bridging Personal and Global Perspectives). My research focuses on the sociology of the public sphere and personal life. I am interested in the forms friendship takes in different social contexts and the way friendship and other interpersonal relations impact on public and personal life. Common to all my research projects is an interest in the transformation of the public realm and the role of personal and social relationships in that process. Development of these ideas and their extended application to a variety of public activities has resulted in an interlocking program of research, which informs my publications and is now coming together in a book in progress, A Different type of friendship: friendship in public settings. Across these projects, I have sought to identify the particular ways that personal and public life come together and old dichotomies break down. For example, a recent linkage project found that gay men’s friendships and interpersonal relations forged diverse personal communities and solidarities, rather than collectivised and sexualised notions of gay community (Solidarity Beyond Sexuality:the personal communities of Gay Men). Another research project on volunteering and civil society showed that personal concerns with identity and even a desire for intimacy can be harnessed effectively to collective public agendas and build civil society (Personal Communities :Responsible Individualism or Another Fall for Public [Man]). My present research project on workplace friendships and collegiality reveals how friendship can transform our public working life and our expectations of what a good colleague and working associate has come to mean. The tendency to rely on friends at work indicates a potential within friendship for re-balancing our public and personal lives.

Teaching and supervision

Current Teaching

  • SCLG2601 Sociological Theory
  • SCLG4012 Sociology Honours B – Bridging Personal and Global Perspectives
  • SCLG4013 Sociology Honours C
  • SCLG4014 Sociology Honours D
  • SCLG 2625 The Sociology of Friendship (semester 2)

Research Supervision

My research program creates many openings for postgraduate supervision . I would welcome supervisions of students researching any aspect of the sociology of friendship, family and personal life (including how this connects with the law). Research on personal communities, changing conceptions of privacy, intimacy, sexuality and the individual would also be of special interest as would projects on different aspects of the public sphere, including the internet, neighbourhood and workplace.

Current:

  • Ian Flaherty: Understandings of faithfulness and ‘pure relationships’ in gay male relationships in contemporary Australia (PhD)
  • Sharon Quah: Far From Crippling:individualization,divorce and personal communities (PhD)
  • Harry Andriopoulos Individualism and community for voluntary simplifiers: a biographical study (M Phil)
  • Sophie Brock Pulling together or pulling apart : Post-familial families and disability (PhD)
  • Christine Campbell Re-imagining moral virtues for 21st Century Religious Communities (PhD)

Current projects

  • 2010- 2013 Narratives of Collegiality:Friendship in Professional Settings (FARSS and SSPS funding)This project examines the significance of friendships in workplace relations among colleagues. It explores their contribution to personal communities and work place solidarity. The impetus for the study arises from research claiming that workplace organization within the 21st century increasingly erodes the boundaries between what were once viewed as the dichotomous social spheres of personal and public and public life. The framework for this study is also shaped by current research within the sociology of friendship which sees a blurring of relationship categories within personal communities .This project will investigate these claims through a qualitative study of work- place friendships, within the quasi-public setting of the university.
  • 2006-2009 ARC linkage ( LP0561891) The role of the Internet in Building Social capital among Homosexually Active men: virtual communities in HIV prevention (with Professor Susan Kippax, UNSW, Dr Martin Holt, UNSW, Dr Heather Worth, UNSW, Professor Michael Bittman, UNE, Dr Patrick Rawstorne, UNSW)
    Project description This research had two components, a quantitative study of online social capital and a qualitative study. The quantitative research (now complete) focused on the role of the internet in producing the networks that engender social inclusion and community. My qualitative project was a narrative study of happiness among gay men. The analysis of this is ongoing (2013).

PhD and master's project opportunities

Selected grants

2006

  • The potential of the Internet in HIV prevention among homosexually active men; Wilkinson J, Worth H, Bittman M, Rawstorne P, Kippax S; Queensland AIDS Council/Linkage.

2005

  • Volunteering and Tolerance: The effects of public association; Wilkinson J; University of Sydney/Early Career Researcher.

Selected publications

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Journals

  • Holt, M., Rawstorne, P., Wilkinson, J., Worth, H., Bittman, M., Kippax, S. (2012). HIV testing, gay community involvement and internet use: social and behavioural correlates of HIV testing among Australian men who have sex with men. AIDS and Behavior, 16(1), 13-22. [More Information]
  • Wilkinson, J., Bittman, M., Holt, M., Rawstorne, P., Kippax, S., Worth, H. (2012). Solidarity Beyond Sexuality: The Personal Communities of Gay Men. Sociology, 46(6), 1161-1177. [More Information]
  • Holt, M., Rawstorne, P., Worth, H., Bittman, M., Wilkinson, J., Kippax, S. (2011). Predictors of HIV disclosure among untested, HIV-negative and HIV-positive Australian men who had anal intercourse with their most recent casual male sex partner. AIDS and Behavior, 15(6), 1128-1139. [More Information]
  • Wilkinson, J. (2010). Personal Communities: Responsible Individualism or Another Fall for Public [Man]? Sociology, 44(3), 453-470.
  • Holt, M., Rawstorne, P., Worth, H., Bittman, M., Wilkinson, J., Kippax, S. (2009). Predictors of HIV Disclosure Among Untested, HIV-Negative and HIV-Positive Australian Men Who had Anal Intercourse with Their Most Recent Casual Male Sex Partner. AIDS and Behavior, , 1-12. [More Information]
  • Wilkinson, J. (2006). From the Bedroom to the Streets: Intimacy and the New Public Order. DisClosure (Lexington): a journal of social theory, 15, 9-26.
  • Wilkinson, J. (2005). Desperately seeking democracy: Unreflexive liberalism and the 'privacy bias' in journalism ethics. Media International Australia Incorporating Culture and Policy: quarterly journal of media research and resources, 114, 109-121.
  • Wilkinson, J., Bittman, M. (2003). Beyond the radius of love: the civil approach to care. Australian Journal on Volunteering, 8(2), 64-74.
  • Wilkinson, J., Bittman, M. (2003). Relatives, friends and strangers: the links between voluntary activity, sociability and care. Social Policy Research Centre Discussion Papers, 11, 1-22.

Conferences

  • Wilkinson, J. (2006). Bosses Friends and Colleagues: Intimacy in Professional Settings. APROS 11: 11th International Colloquium of the Asia-Pacific Researchers in Organization Studies (2005), Melbourne VIC: Asia-Pacific Researchers in Organisation Studies.
  • Wilkinson, J., Mar, P. (2006). Volunteering among migrants - personal or civil redemption. Inaugural Volunteering Research Symposium (2006), Melbourne: Volunteering Australia.
  • Wilkinson, J. (2004). Straight Girl For A Queer Eye: Same Sex Intimacy, Privacy And The Limits Of Tolerance. TASA Conference 2004 Revisioning Institutions: Change in the 21st Century, Wodonga, Vic: La Trobe University.
  • Wilkinson, J. (2003). Community breeds contempt - Looking at the liberal paradox of toleration. TASA 2003 Conference, Australia: Australian Sociological Association.
  • Wilkinson, J. (2001). Looking after strangers: Civility, care and public ethics. TASA 2001 Conference, Sydney: The Australian Sociological Association (TASA).

Report

  • Rawstone, P., Holt, M., Kippax, S., Worth, H., Wilkinson, J., Bittman, M. (2009). e-male survey 2008 : key findings from a national online survey of men who have sex with men in Australia.

2012

  • Holt, M., Rawstorne, P., Wilkinson, J., Worth, H., Bittman, M., Kippax, S. (2012). HIV testing, gay community involvement and internet use: social and behavioural correlates of HIV testing among Australian men who have sex with men. AIDS and Behavior, 16(1), 13-22. [More Information]
  • Wilkinson, J., Bittman, M., Holt, M., Rawstorne, P., Kippax, S., Worth, H. (2012). Solidarity Beyond Sexuality: The Personal Communities of Gay Men. Sociology, 46(6), 1161-1177. [More Information]

2011

  • Holt, M., Rawstorne, P., Worth, H., Bittman, M., Wilkinson, J., Kippax, S. (2011). Predictors of HIV disclosure among untested, HIV-negative and HIV-positive Australian men who had anal intercourse with their most recent casual male sex partner. AIDS and Behavior, 15(6), 1128-1139. [More Information]

2010

  • Wilkinson, J. (2010). Personal Communities: Responsible Individualism or Another Fall for Public [Man]? Sociology, 44(3), 453-470.

2009

  • Rawstone, P., Holt, M., Kippax, S., Worth, H., Wilkinson, J., Bittman, M. (2009). e-male survey 2008 : key findings from a national online survey of men who have sex with men in Australia.
  • Holt, M., Rawstorne, P., Worth, H., Bittman, M., Wilkinson, J., Kippax, S. (2009). Predictors of HIV Disclosure Among Untested, HIV-Negative and HIV-Positive Australian Men Who had Anal Intercourse with Their Most Recent Casual Male Sex Partner. AIDS and Behavior, , 1-12. [More Information]

2006

  • Wilkinson, J. (2006). Bosses Friends and Colleagues: Intimacy in Professional Settings. APROS 11: 11th International Colloquium of the Asia-Pacific Researchers in Organization Studies (2005), Melbourne VIC: Asia-Pacific Researchers in Organisation Studies.
  • Wilkinson, J. (2006). From the Bedroom to the Streets: Intimacy and the New Public Order. DisClosure (Lexington): a journal of social theory, 15, 9-26.
  • Wilkinson, J., Mar, P. (2006). Volunteering among migrants - personal or civil redemption. Inaugural Volunteering Research Symposium (2006), Melbourne: Volunteering Australia.

2005

  • Wilkinson, J. (2005). Desperately seeking democracy: Unreflexive liberalism and the 'privacy bias' in journalism ethics. Media International Australia Incorporating Culture and Policy: quarterly journal of media research and resources, 114, 109-121.

2004

  • Wilkinson, J. (2004). Straight Girl For A Queer Eye: Same Sex Intimacy, Privacy And The Limits Of Tolerance. TASA Conference 2004 Revisioning Institutions: Change in the 21st Century, Wodonga, Vic: La Trobe University.

2003

  • Wilkinson, J., Bittman, M. (2003). Beyond the radius of love: the civil approach to care. Australian Journal on Volunteering, 8(2), 64-74.
  • Wilkinson, J. (2003). Community breeds contempt - Looking at the liberal paradox of toleration. TASA 2003 Conference, Australia: Australian Sociological Association.
  • Wilkinson, J., Bittman, M. (2003). Relatives, friends and strangers: the links between voluntary activity, sociability and care. Social Policy Research Centre Discussion Papers, 11, 1-22.

2001

  • Wilkinson, J. (2001). Looking after strangers: Civility, care and public ethics. TASA 2001 Conference, Sydney: The Australian Sociological Association (TASA).

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