Prof Colette Fagan


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Colette is a Professor of Sociology and the Deputy Dean and Vice-Dean for Research of the Faculty of Humanities. She is a Senate-elected member of the University's Board of Governors (2009-).

Previously, she was the Research Director for the School of Social Sciences (2004–10) and Co-Director of the European Work and Employment Research Centre (2004–10). 

Colette joined the University as a sociology lecturer in 1998 and became a professor in 2005. Previously she worked as a lecturer at the University of Liverpool, a researcher at UMIST and a research officer at the UK’s Equal Opportunities Commission (now the Equality and Human Rights Commission). Her connection with the University started in 1990 when she registered as a part-time PhD student.

Colette's research focus is on work and employment, with particular interests in gender relations and inequalities in the workplace and domestic life; in international comparisons of employment and living conditions in industrialised economies; and the topic of 'time'. Her international collaborations have included visiting academic positions at the University of Madison-Wisconsin USA; RMIT Australia and the Wissenschaftzentrum (WZB) Germany and the TRANSLAM NESY and RECWOWE research collaborations funded under the European Unions’ Framework Programmes.  

She is the UK national academic expert in the European Commission's Expert Network on Employment and Gender Equality and a member of the Advisory Board on Working Conditions for the European Commission’s Eurofound tri-partite research and policy agency. 

Her academic consultancies include research papers and reports for the European Commission, the European Trade Union Institute, Eurofound (the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions), the International Labour Office, the OECD, UNIFEM - Central and Eastern Europe, the UK Trades Union Congress and the Finnish Ministry of Labour.

As a member of the British Sociology Association her roles have included serving on the editorial board of the journals Sociology (1998-2000) and Work, Employment and Society (2000-2004) and on the conference organising committees for the 50th Annual British Sociological Association Conference (2001) and the 2004 Work, Employment and Society Conference.

Further information

Supervision areas:

I am particularly interested in supervising students who want to work on the following topics:

  • Employment trends, organizational restructuring and working conditions in the so-called ‘service’, ‘knowledge’ or ‘new economies’
  • The older workforce and ‘active ageing’
  • Working-time and the life course
  • The impact of employment trends on the organization of unpaid care work and voluntary work in the home and community; and patterns of time-use in households more broadly
  • Fatherhood
  • Gender mainstreaming of labour market and welfare state policies

My current and recent PhD students:

  • Fatima Assuncao (2007-) Gender and self-employment in Portugal, Portuguese government scholarship
  • Abril Saldana (2007-) Domestic service in Mexico, Mexican government scholarship
  • Helen Norman (2006-) Fatherhood and flexible employment opportunities: is ‘active fatherhood’ on the increase? ESRC doctoral studentship
  • Pierre Walthery (2006-), Women returners on the labour market: attitudes and constraints
  • Hayley Limmer (2006-), Why do women from selected ethnic groups have different rates of self-employment? 
  • Stefano Ba (2003-) 'Post-Fordist Families: Class and Gender in the Flexible Economy' ESRC doctoral studentship, PhD submitted 2007
  • Nina Robinson 'Fragmented Sisterhood? A critical investigation of social relationships between women managers/professionals within the Gendered Workplace' ESRC doctoral studentship, PhD submitted 2007
  • Darren Nixon ‘Economic Restructuring, Feminisation and Men’s Employment Opportunities’ ESRC doctoral studentship, PhD awarded 2005


Additional information:

Colette's recent invited presentations to policy audiences include events hosted by the OECD (2007), the European Parliament (2006), the Australian Federal State of Victoria’s Minister for Industrial Relations (2005), the European Commission and the German Hans Böckler Stiftung (2004).

She is available for media interview on her specialist topics (working-time, gender inequalities in Europe), and has been interviewed on these topics by journalists in Britain, France, the Netherlands and Australia.

Recently completed competitive awards (2001-)

2003-4 European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions 'A New Organistion of Time through Working Life' in a consortium coordinated by D.Anxo (Sweden) and J-Y Boulin (France)

2002-4 ESRC award 'Living and labouring in London and Manchester: Young adults' work-life choices' 

2001-4 Anglo German Foundation ‘Jobs for whom? Service sector employment restructuring in Germany and the UK’

2001-2 European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions 'Gender and working conditions in Europe'

2000-1 European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions ‘Gender and employment preferences in Europe’

Recent research consultancies (2001-)

United Nations - International Labour Office (2002/3), UK Trades Union Congress (2004/5), United Nations – UNIFEM CEE (2006), OECD (2007)

Areas of expertise

  • H Social Sciences (General) - Gender, working conditions, work-family balance, inequality, fatherhood, job quality, intrernational comparisons

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