Department of Sociology

Prof. Michael D. Fine

BA (Hons), PhD (USyd); FAAG

Office: W6A 804
Phone No: (+61 2) 4342 6716; 9850 8037; Mob: 0432 597 886
Fax No: (+61 2) 9850 9355

Dr Michael Fine is Adjunct Professor in the Department of Sociology at Macquarie University, Sydney.  He was Associate Professor and Head of Department 2008-2012.  Before commencing at Macquarie in 2000 he was Senior Research Fellow at the Social Policy Research Centre (SPRC) at the University of New South Wales (UNSW).

Michael has researched, published and taught in the fields of social policy, ageing, care and human services for over thirty years.  He is currently a member of the NSW Ministerial Advisory Committee on Ageing (MACA), the NSW Carers Advisory Council, and an Executive Board Member for the Northside Community Forum - the largest regional community care organisation in NSW.  He is a member of the editorial board of the Australasian Journal of Gerontology, and advisor to a number of international journals, a member of the AHURI National Housing Research Panel.  He is currently leading an ARC Linkage research project with Prof. Kathy Eagar of Australian Health Services Research Institute of the University of Wollongong on the development of an Australian Community Care Outcomes Measure (ACCOM), in collaboration with a number of leading community care providers in NSW. <>.  Download report: <Measuring_Outcomes_Pilot Report>

Michael was Vice-President of RC11, the Research Committee on Ageing of the International Sociological Association (ISA) 2001-2009, and a member of the executive.  He is a Fellow of the Australian Association of Gerontology (AAG) and former member of the National Executive.  A long-term member of the State executive, he was elected President of the AAG, NSW Division, 1991-95 and was Chair of the Scientific Committee for the AAG Annual Conference in 2006 and 2013.

Michael's column reflecting on various issues in aged care is published bi-monthly in Aged Care Insite <> .  His book, A Caring Society? Care and the Dilemmas of Human Service in the Twenty-First Century, was published internationally by Palgrave/MacMillan in 2007.


Michael's research focusses on care and ageing in the contemporary world.  In it he seek to identify the way in which sociological analyses can open up understanding of each of these issues and in turn, how these issues can extend and enhance our understanding of sociology and social theory. 

'Care is an essential feature of social life that no longer fits into the contemporary world in the way it has in the past.  ... (My approach is concerned with) its transformation from a private concern to a public issue as it is reshaped, re-imagined and fought over in the twenty-first century.  Care can be a form of meaningful work and of social solidarity, providing the key principle for human services as well as for intimate personal relationships.  But it can also be reduced to a domestic duty for women or refashioned as a product to be packaged and sold for corporate profit.  The debate, for this reason, is as urgent as it is profound.  Drawing on the perspectives of sociology, philosophy, feminism, political-economy nursing and the human services, debates around care are shown to manifest the changing relations between the state, the market and individuals, families and households in the ageing, 'post-industrial' societies of the developed world.  (From A Caring Society, 2007: 1)

Current Research Interests

  • Care and human services. 
    Research on the nature and provision of care, the social division of care and the factors that influence the provision, use and effectiveness of human services.
  • The Outcomes of Community Aged Care
  • Ageing and Intergenerational Dependencies


Publications, CV and further information available here:


Some Recent Publications (for full and up-to-date list please select link above)

Fine, M. (2015) 'Cultures of Care' for J. Twigg and W. Martin (eds) Routledge Handbook of Cultural Gerontology, Routledge: Abingdon UK: 269-276

Fine, M. (2015), 'Eva Fedor Kittay: Dependency Work and the Social Division of Care' in Fran Collyer (ed) The Palgrave Handbook of Social Theory in Health, Illness and Medicine, Palgrave, Basingstoke UK: 628-643

Fine, M. (2014) 'Intergenerational perspectives on ageing, economics and globalisation' Australasian Journal on Ageing, 33(4): 220-225

Fine, M. (2014) 'Economic Restructuring and the Caring Society.  Changing the Face of Age Care Work', Soziale Welt, Sonderband 20, B. Aulenbacher, B Riegraf, H Theobald (Eds) Nomos Baden-Baden:  269-278

Fine, M. (2014), 'Nurturing Longevity: Ageing, care and the sociology of the body', Health Sociology Review, 23(1): 33-42

Fine, M.D. (2014) 'Ageism, Envy and Fear.  The Contradictory Politics of the Sequestration of Old Age in the 21st Century' in G. Poiner (Ed) People Like Us: The Politics of Difference, Independent Scholar Association of Australia (ISAA) Canberra:  13-29.

Fine, M. (2013) 'Individualising care. The transformation of personal support in old age' Ageing and Society, 33 (03): 421-436

Rummery, K and Fine, M. (2012) 'Care: a critical review of theory, policy and practice' Social Policy & Administration, 46 (3): 321-343

Fine, M. (2012) 'Employment and Informal Care: Sustaining Paid Work and Caregiving in Community and Home-based Care' Aging International, 37(1): 57-68

Fine, M.D (2011) 'Sustaining Employment and Caregiving' in J. Barratt (ed) Caring for a Family Member.  Can we be in two places at Once? Report to the Canadian Ministry for Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC), International Federation of Ageing (IFA), Toronto: 16-28

Simpson-Young, V, and M. Fine (2010) Case Management in Community Aged Care: Mapping the Landscape in NSW, Centre for Research on Social Inclusion Macquarie University, Sydney (report may be downloaded from: )

Fine, M and S. Keeling (2010), 'Social Policies for Aging Societies-Australasian Perspectives' in Chris Phillipson and Dale Dannefer (eds) International Handbook of Social Gerontology, Sage, London: 525-539

Fine, M and R. Spencer (2009) Social Isolation.  Development of an Assessment Tool for HACC Services, A Literature Review for the NSW Department of Ageing, Disability and Home Care (DADHC), Sydney, NSW, Centre for Research on Social Inclusion Macquarie University, Sydney (report may be downloaded from ) or

Fine, M with A. Yeatman (2009) 'Care for the Self: Community Aged care Packages' in A Yeatman, G. Dowsett, M. Fine and D Guransky, Individualization and the Delivery of Welfare Services.  Contestation and Complexity, Palgrave Macmillan, Houndmills: 165-186

Fine, M and E. Prosser (2009) 'A Human Service Revolution: Community Options and the Home and Community Care Program' in Elizabeth Moore (ed) Case Management and Community Practice, Oxford University Press, Melbourne: 298-322

Fine, M (2007) 'Uncertain prospects: Aged care policy for a long-lived society' in A. Borowski, E. Ozanne  and S. Encel, (ed) Longevity and Social Change in Australia, University of New South Wales Press, Sydney: 265-295

See also Aged Care Insite for bi-monthly contributions on current policy and care issues:


Prof. Michael Fine