Associate Professor Alastair Greig

Emeritus Fellow
ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences

Research interests

Industrial Sociology; Urban Sociology; Housing Studies; Globalisation; Environmental Sociology;The Sociology of Sport


I joined sociology at ANU in January 1995. Prior to that, I held a Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Urban Research Program in the Research School of Social Sciences, ANU. I undertook Honours in history and sociology in the School of General Studies, ANU (1983), and obtained my PhD in sociology through the Faculty of Arts, ANU (1989). My dissertation was entitled ‘States, Parties and Socialist Revolution’.   

My doctoral interests in development sociology led me in my postdoctoral work to examine global commodity chains in the clothing industry, as well as the role of outwork in the Australian clothing industry. This interest in changing patterns of work then led me to study the building industry and the relationship between social change, housing formation and the urban built environment. I have always been driven by macro-sociological concerns relating to social inequalities, and have reflected on changing patterns of local inequality (Inequality in Australia, Cambridge UP, 2003, with F. Lewins and K. White) and international inequalities (Challenging Global Inequalities, Palgrave, 2007, with D, Hulme and M. Turner).  

Teaching has been my greatest passion during my career. I was awarded the inaugural National Award for University Teaching in Social Sciences (1997) and the Team-Taught Large First Year Award in 2003. I was awarded the Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Teaching in 1997 and 2003.  My Palgrave commissioned textbook, The Australian Way of Life, was published in 2013.

I was Head of School of Social Sciences between 2005 and 2008. In 2010 I received the CASS Award for Excellence in Supervision along with the Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Supervision, and in 2014 I was awarded the Chancellor's Award for Outstanding Service to the Campus Community. I was elected onto the Academic Board of the ANU for the term 2012-2014.

At the end of 2015 I retired and became an Emeritus Fellow.

Researcher's projects

Current research projects  

Development Theory and Praxis 

I have been working with the University of Aarhus (Denmark) on their project ‘An Intellectual History of Global Inequality’. In 2023 my chapter on Australia entitled ‘How the Global Movement of Money and People Turns the World Upside Down’ was published in their book edited by Christian Olaf Christiansen, 2023, 5 Key Questions on Global Inequality, London, Palgrave, Chapter 11. This book explores globalisation from a wide range of locations and perspectives across the world.

For the origins of this project, see

My colleague Professor Mark Turner and I continue to pursue our interest in global inequalities. Our article employing the workof the US pragmatist philosopher Richard Rorty to assess the historical significance of the Millennium Development Goals, entitled 'Policy and Hope: The Millennium Development Goals, is currently out for review. We are also contracted, with our colleague Professor David Hulme at the University of Manchester, to write a second edition of our book Challenging Global Inequality, with Palgrave.

Urban and Regional Development

After editing and writing new chapters with Dr Sue Feary for the long-overdue new edition of the late-Bruce Hamon's history of Kioloa and Bawley Point, They Came to Murramarang (published by ANU Press in 2015), as a follow-up, I have completed a book-length manuscript on the early colonial history of Batemans Bay, entitled The Road to Batemans Bay: Speculating on the South Coast During the 1840s Depression. It will be published by ANUPress in late 2023. It deals with the earliest land grants and development plans on the north side of the Bay. Continuing my interest in historical sociology and land development, the book links these local events to the wider social, administrative, legal and artistic life of the colony at the onset of the great depression of the 1840s. To pre-order, see

The Sociology of Sport

My colleague Dr Nick Guoth and I have been researching the history of Australian soccer in the 1920s, exploring issues of immigration, nationalism and sporting incumbency, or ‘sport space’ and currently have an article out under review.


Current student projects

Ms Geraldine Khachan, ‘From Diaspora to Belonging: The paths of early Lebanese settlers in Australia’ (thesis examined and accepted subject to minor modifications, August 2023)

Past student projects

Primary PhD Supervisor Only

Dr Joseph McCarthy, ‘China and Energy Security’, (awarded April 2020)

Dr Jennifer Beattie, ‘“Gatekeepers of Abortion”: The medical regulation of Abortion in Australia’ (awarded, July 2018)

Dr Susan Marsh, ‘It’s not cold money, it’s warm money: Microcredit and empowerment in the case of the New Zealand Women’s Loan Fund’ (awarded February 2016)

Dr Janecke Wille, ‘“A tree is not a tree without its leaves…” Exploring Integration and Belonging among South Sudanese Australians in Canberra’ (accepted 2014)

Dr Sarah Spiller, ‘”Now we are Successful and Developed”: Participation and Development in Cambodia’ (awarded, December 2013)

Dr Sarah Maslen, ‘The Sociology of Sound’ (awarded December 2012, Post-Doctoral Fellow, School of Sociology, ANU)

Dr Vanessa McDermott, ‘Conceptualising Legitimacy, Moral Panics and Performance Enhancing Drugs: Crisis? Whose Crisis?’ (accepted January 2012, to be published by Routledge)

Dr Shanti Sumartojo, ‘Re-Imagining the National Community in Urban Public Place: Trafalgar Square, 1906 - 2010’ (awarded, April 2011, published by Peter Lang Publishers, 2014)

Dr Angela Lehmann, ‘Traces of Home: Cosmopolitan Journeys from the West’, (awarded June 2010, published by Palgrave in 2014)

Dr Catherine Strong, ‘”As a friend, as a trend, as an old memory”: Popular music, memory and power’ (Awarded in November 2008, thesis published by Ashgate Publishers, London)

Dr Priya Chattier, ‘A Feminist Approach to Measuring Poverty in Fiji’ (awarded July 2008)

Dr James Connor, ‘The Sociology of Loyalty’ (thesis awarded May 2007, thesis published by Springer, US)

Dr Tanya Bretherton, ‘Professional Women and Enterprise Bargaining’ (awarded 2006)

Dr Luke Buckmaster, ‘Constructing Structurelessness: Openness, Closure, and Collective Action – the case of Indymedia’ (awarded 2006)

Dr Ester Basri, ‘Inter-Firm Technological Collaboration and the Innovation Process’ (awarded 2006)

Dr Nicolette Burford, 'The Political Significance of Non-Tribal Indigenous Youth’s Talk on Identity, Land and the Forest Environment: An Amazonian Case Study from the Arapiuns River, Brazil', Forestry, SRES (awarded, July 2006)

Dr Wendy Riemens, ‘Innovation Networks and Public Policy’ (awarded 1998)

Dr Gotz Ottmann, ‘Social Movements and Violence in Sao Paulo’ (awarded 1999, thesis published by Minnesota University Press)

Dr Bette O’Brien, ‘Gender, Ethnicity and Public Housing’ (awarded 2000)


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Updated:  29 September 2023 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers