Professor Suzanne Fraser

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Program Leader and ARC Future Fellow

Suzanne Fraser’s research focuses on addiction, the body, health and the self. She is program leader for NDRI’s Social Studies of Addiction Concepts Research Program, and associate editor, qualitative research for the international journals, Contemporary Drug Problems, and Addiction. She is also an editorial board member for the International Journal of Drug Policy, Addiction Research and Theory, and Drugs: Education, Prevention and Policy.

Suzanne is the author of a number of books on the body and health in society and culture, the most recent being Habits: Remaking addiction (with David Moore and Helen Keane). Her first book, Cosmetic surgery, gender and culture, was based on her PhD research. Later books focused on methadone maintenance treatment (Substance and substitution: Methadone subjects in liberal societies, with kylie valentine), hepatitis C (Making disease, making citizens: The politics of hepatitis C, with Kate Seear), and the modern self (Vanity: 21st century selves, with Claire Tanner and JaneMaree Maher). She has also co-edited a collection of essays on drugs and addiction (The drug effect: Health, crime and society, with David Moore),

Suzanne’s main research focus at present is her Australian Research Council-funded Future Fellowship research program. Entitled ‘Analysing and comparing concepts of addiction for improved health and social outcomes in Australia’, this research program explores the notions of addiction underpinning social and health policy and service provision in Australia, Canada and Sweden. Drawing on qualitative interviews with policy makers and service providers, policy analysis and an assessment of addiction diagnostic tools, the aim is to draw out the explicit and implicit assumptions and metaphors at work in addiction responses, comparing three national contexts and identifying opportunities for exchange and improvement.

In 2017 Suzanne will lead two new ARC-funded projects, one exploring injecting practices and harm reduction needs among men who inject performance and image enhancing drugs, and the other investigating impediments to the uptake and diffusion in Australia of take-home naloxone, the lifesaving opioid overdose medication.

Suzanne is also lead investigator on a further ARC-funded study nearing completion (2014-2016). This project uses an established methodology developed at Oxford University to collect individual stories from people who consider themselves to have an alcohol or other drug addiction, dependence or habit. It presents these stories in textual, audio and re-enacted video clips on a publicly accessible website, Livesofsubstance.org (launched in late 2016).

Recently finalised is an NHMRC funded project based at UNSW (for which Suzanne was a chief investigator) that explored harm reduction needs and strategies for couples who inject drugs. Outcomes from this project include recommendations for incorporating couples into harm reduction strategies, and a tested prototype for a couples oriented ‘fitpack’ as well as couples focused health messaging.

For a full list of Suzanne’s publications, grants and projects, click here.

Supervision

Suzanne welcomes supervision opportunities in addiction, drug use, the body, and health, disease and wellbeing. Her theoretical interests include feminist theories of the body and subjectivity, science and technology studies, and governmentality theory. She is experienced in a wide range of qualitative research methods, and has successfully supervised projects in areas as diverse as HIV in South Africa, hepatitis C, the body in psychotherapy, and childbirth and maternity in war.

Qualifications

  • Grad Cert Higher Education, Monash University
  • PhD Gender Studies, University of Sydney
  • BA (Hons) History and Women’s Studies, University of Sydney

Research Interests

  • Illicit drug use, drug treatments, ideas of compulsion and addiction, the body in society

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