Dr Michelle Brady

UQ Senior Research Fellow

School of Social Science
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
michelle.brady@uq.edu.au
+61 7 336 52021

Overview

Michelle Brady is currently a UQ Senior Research Fellow in sociology in the School of Social Science. She joined the School in 2012 as a Lecturer in sociology and prior to this worked as an Assistant Professor at the University of Victoria, Canada.

Michelle received her PhD in Sociology in 2011 and her Masters of Arts in 2006 both from the University of Alberta. Her PhD research focused Australian single mothers' experiences of welfare to work in Australia. Findings from this research have appeared in a range of outlets including Work, Employment and Society, Critical Policy Studies and Public Policy.

Currently she is the lead CI on an ARC Discovery project entitled Addressing Childcare Flexibility and a CI on the Interim home based care subsidy programme nanny pilot evaluation. Her DP project examines how the problem of childcare flexibility and inflexibility is experienced and framed at three levels; families, childcare service providers and policy makers.

Between 2013 to 2014 she worked on the official evaluation of Australia's first publically funded paternity leave scheme, Dad and Partner Pay. She is one of the lead authors on the final evaluation report. Findings from this research also appear in the Journal of Social Policy and the Journal of Family Studies.

In 2012 she obtained a Canadian Social Science and Humanities Research Council grant to lead a a cross-disciplinary, collaborative publishing project on ethnography, neoliberalism and governmentality. This project has resulted in a special issue of Foucault Studies (2014) and the 2016 Edited collection with University of Toronto Press Governing Practices: Neoliberalism, Governmentality and the Ethnographic Imaginary.

Michelle is an Associate Editor of the Journal of Family Studies. Follow the journal on Twitter @JFamStudies

You can follow Michelle at @MichelleBradyUQ

Research Interests

  • Childcare Flexibility
    My current research focus is on childcare flexibility and inflexibility.
  • Gender, family and public policy
    My three key research projects to date have all focused on the ways that social policy shaped gendered divisions of labour within families. My PhD research focused on Welfare to Work reforms that impacted on single parents. Over the last two years I have worked on the qualitative component of the evaluation of the new Dad and Partner Pay initiative. Finally, my current research focuses on experiences and politics of childcare policy.
  • Qualitative methodologies
    New ways of governing and delivering social policies mean that as social scientists we need to develop new ways of researching social objects. My collaborative project entitled Ethnographies of neoliberal governmentalities involves developing new qualitative methodologies for exploring social change. This interest has also resulted in a sole guest edited special issue of the Journal of Family Studies entitled What can qualitative research contribute to work and family policy? Access the Editorial for free at: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13229400.2015.1023173#abstract
  • Neoliberal governmentalities
    My key theoretical interest is in contemporary governmentalities. This has informed my publications on work-life balance policy and Welfare to Work Policy. In addition it is the focus on collaborative publishing projects including a recent special issue of Foucault Studies entitled: Ethnographies of Neoliberal Governmentalities (See http://rauli.cbs.dk/index.php/foucault-studies/issue/view/568/showToc), and a forthcoming edited collection with University of Toronto Press with the working title: Neo-liberal Governmentalities and the Ethnographic Imaginary.
  • Fathering and paternity leave
    Over the last couple of years I have focused on paternity leave and fathering in the first year and this remains part of my current research agenda. In December, 2012 I joined the Dad and Partner Pay evaluation project lead by Professor Bill Martin. Maria Zadoroznyj, Belinda Hewitt and Janeen Baxter are also CIs on this project. My specific focus in this area has been the impact of cultural factors on whether or not men take paternity leave, gendered divisions in infant care and what fathers do while on paternity leave.

Research Impacts

Michelle regularly participates in media interviews on childcare and welfare reforms. She was a participant in the 2014 Productivity Commissions Childcare and Early Childhood Learning roundtable on maternal employment and childcare. Her co-authored research on the relationship between families' childcare packages and maternal employment was cited in the commissions' draft report as well as in submissions to the commission.

Qualifications

  • Doctor of Philosophy (Sociology), University of Alberta
  • Master of Arts, University of Alberta

Publications

View all Publications

Grants

View all Grants

Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

View all Supervision

Available Projects

  • This project aims to identify how best to achieve flexible childcare for the large number of Australian shift-work, professional or casual employees who work outside or beyond standard work hours. Consecutive governments have attempted to intervene in what is now regarded as a childcare flexibility crisis, but their attempts have failed due to fundamental misunderstandings of family needs for affordable, quality care and service providers' business requirements. This project seeks to reconcile family and provider experiences with government cost and quality concerns. It aims to deliver new knowledge on the alignments between stakeholders' interests so as to offer a way forward in the creation of an affordable, flexible, quality care system.

  • Reform of the conditions attached to the Parenting Payment, including the single rate of Parenting Payment (PPS), and the partnered rate (PPP), that were announced in 2005 were largely modeled after reforms that had been implemented in the US a decade earlier. This represented a sharp shift in the assumptions underpinning Australian policy on income support for primary carers. This on-going project involves examining the impact of these reforms, and their expansion to a larger group of parents in 2013, on single parents and their children (see Brady and Cook, 2015), and the way that employment services have responded to the increased number of single parents entering their services (see Brady, 2011).

View all Available Projects

Publications

Featured Publications

Book

Book Chapter

  • Brady, Michelle (2016). Governmentality, the ethnographic imaginary and beyond. In Michelle Brady and Randy Lippert (Ed.), Governing Practices: Neoliberalism, Governmental Assemblages, and the Ethnographic Imaginary (pp. 269-274) Toronto, Canada: University of Toronto Press.

  • Brady, Michelle (2016). Neoliberalism, governmental assemblages, and the ethnographic imaginary. In Michelle Brady and Randy Lippert (Ed.), Governing Practices: Neoliberalism, Governmental Assemblages, and the Ethnographic Imaginary (pp. 3-31) Toronto, Canada: University of Toronto Press.

  • Brady, Michelle, McDavid, James C., Huse, Irene and Hawthorn, Laura R. L. (2013). Applying qualitative evaluation methods. In James C. McDavid, Irene Huse and Laura R. L. Hawthorn (Ed.), Program evaluation and performance measurement 2nd ed. (pp. 187-224) Thousand Oaks, United States: Sage Publications.

  • Brady, Michelle (2007). Institutionalized individualism and the care of the self: Single mothers and the state. In Cosmo Howard (Ed.), Contested individualization: Debates about contemporary personhood (pp. 187-208) New York, United States: Palgrave Macmillan.

Journal Article

Conference Publication

Edited Outputs

Other Outputs

Grants (Administered at UQ)

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Joint Principal Advisor

Completed Supervision

  • (2017) Master Philosophy — Associate Advisor

  • (2017) Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

Possible Research Projects

Note for students: The possible research projects listed on this page may not be comprehensive or up to date. Always feel free to contact the staff for more information, and also with your own research ideas.

  • This project aims to identify how best to achieve flexible childcare for the large number of Australian shift-work, professional or casual employees who work outside or beyond standard work hours. Consecutive governments have attempted to intervene in what is now regarded as a childcare flexibility crisis, but their attempts have failed due to fundamental misunderstandings of family needs for affordable, quality care and service providers' business requirements. This project seeks to reconcile family and provider experiences with government cost and quality concerns. It aims to deliver new knowledge on the alignments between stakeholders' interests so as to offer a way forward in the creation of an affordable, flexible, quality care system.

  • Reform of the conditions attached to the Parenting Payment, including the single rate of Parenting Payment (PPS), and the partnered rate (PPP), that were announced in 2005 were largely modeled after reforms that had been implemented in the US a decade earlier. This represented a sharp shift in the assumptions underpinning Australian policy on income support for primary carers. This on-going project involves examining the impact of these reforms, and their expansion to a larger group of parents in 2013, on single parents and their children (see Brady and Cook, 2015), and the way that employment services have responded to the increased number of single parents entering their services (see Brady, 2011).