About Associate Professor Fran Collyer
Research interests include: the health care sector, focusing on the invention and development of medical technologies, the relationship between the state and the private sector, the privatisation and contracting-out of public assets and services, and the tensions inherent in marrying private with public services.
Dr Collyer has significant experience in the use of both qualitative and quantitative methods, and her research is informed by a sociological perspective and the sociological classics. She is currently involved in two major programs of research. The first is with the Health Governance Network at the University of Sydney examining the increasing privatisation of Australian health care services, the phenomenon of labour shortages in the health workforce, and the growth of the health care industry (specifically the private health insurance industry) in Australia, Britain and elsewhere: all of which present significant barriers to achieving access and equity in health service provision. The second programconcerns the social sciences as a whole, and the discipline of sociology. Here she is examining the importation and development of sociological knowledge into post-colonial settings and countries of the semi-periphery and periphery, and investigating the processes through which expert and scholarly knowledges are formed and produced. An important aspect of this program explores world wide changes to universities and the impact of globalisation and marketisation on the production of these bodies of knowledge.
Dr Collyer's previous research, in which she continues to maintain an interest, has encompassed the invention and development of medical technologies (including sex-reassignment surgery and the cochlear implant), the growing market in alternative and complementary medicines, theories of institutionalisation and disciplinarity, the privatisation and contracting-out of public assets and services, and the tensions inherent in marrying private with public services (particularly asthese are expressed within health care sectors). Her most recent book concerns the political and institutional history of the sub-field of health and medical sociology in Australia, Britain and America, providing both a case study in the sociology of knowledge and a record of the achievements of past and presentscholars in the discipline.
Dr Fran Collyer has supervised postgraduate students in the areas of health, welfare and medicine (including the marketisation and privatisation of health services), gender and sexuality (and transsexuality), science and technology, mental health, and youth studies. She welcomes enquiries from postgraduate research students in these areas, but also in the history and institutional development of the academic disciplines, the processes of knowledge production and exchange in either national or global contexts, and the sociology of knowledge.