Dr Kerreen

Dr Kerreen Reiger

Honorary Associate

College of Arts, Social Sciences and Commerce

Melbourne (Bundoora)


PhD (La Trobe).



Membership of professional associations

The Australian Institute of Family Studies Ethics. Committee. Member of TASA. Founding member of the Maternity Coalition.

Area of study

Australian Studies
International Development

Brief profile

Kerreen Reiger is an historical and health sociologist whose teaching areas have included changes in gender relations and families, qualitative research methodology, critical social policy and gender and sexuality in work and organisational settings. Her published work has explored the extension of technical rationality to the household in Australia, maternity reform movements in post-war decades and the relevance of critical social theory to relationships in health care. In recent years, her research has focused primarily on the management of childbirth; the impact of new public management on health services; inter-professional relationships in hospital workplaces; policies on overseas trained health workers; and public participation and citizenship claims and quality improvement strategies in health care. As she holds a visiting professor position from 2007-11 at Queen’s University Belfast, she is also strongly interested in health and welfare issues in the UK and Ireland. Kerreen is currently supervising postgraduate theses in class transition, obstetric hegemony, transgender knowledge construction and historical analysis of women’s work.

Research specialisation

- Gender, Culture, Sexuality

- Social Policy

- Urban Sociology and Community Studies

Recent publications

  • Reiger, K 2011, Knights or Knaves? Public Policy, Professional Power, and Reforming Maternity Services. Health Care for Women International, 1096-4665, 32(1): 2-22.
  • Reiger, K and Liamputtong, P 2010, ‘Researching reproduction: intersections of personal and political’, in I Bourgeault, R Dingwall, and R DeVries (eds), The Sage Handbook of Qualitative Methods in Health Research, Sage, London.
  • Reiger, K and Lane, K 2009, ‘Working together: collaboration between midwives and doctors in public hospital settings’, Australian Health Review May.
  • Reiger, K, Garvan, J and Temel, S 2009, ‘Rethinking Care: a critical analysis of family policies and the negotiation of dependency’, Just Policy, 50.
  • Reiger, K 2008, ‘Domination or mutual recognition? Midwifery as the “Other” of obstetrics’, Social Theory and Health, 6: 132-147.
  • Reiger, K 2006, ‘The neoliberal quickstep: contradictions in Australian maternity care policy’, Health Sociology Review, Special Issue, Childbirth, Politics and the Culture of Risk 15(4): 330-340.
  • Reiger, K and Dempsey, R 2006, ‘Performing birth in a culture of fear’, Health Sociology Review, Special Issue, Childbirth, Politics and the Culture of Risk 15(4): 363-373.
  • Reiger, K and Carroll, K 2005, ‘Fluid experts: lactation consultants as postmodern health professions,’ Health Sociology Review, 14(2): 101-110.
  • Reiger, K 2005, 'Mothers in a Double-Bind: The Work of Being "with Women"', in P Grimshaw, J Murphy and B Probert (eds), Working Mothers and Social Change, Melbourne Publishing Group, Melbourne.
  • Reiger, K and Keleher, H 2004, 'Managing professionals: the emerging leadership role of Victorian Maternal and Child Health coordinators', International Journal of Nursing Practice,10(2): 58-63.
  • Reiger, K and Keleher, H 2004, 'Nurses on the market: the impact of contracting on the Victorian Maternal and Child Health Service', Australian Journal of Advanced Nursing, 22(1): 38-43.
  • Reiger, K 2001, Our Bodies, Our Babies: the Forgotten Women’s Movement, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne.
  • Reiger, K 1985, The Disenchantment of the Home: Modernizing the Australian Family, 1880-1940, Oxford University Press, Melbourne.