Welcome to Rajen Govender

Prof Rajen Govender[Dr Rajen Govender](/staff/govender) took up a half-time appointment as an Associate Professor in the CSSR and Sociology Department in July. Dr Govender has a PhD in social psychology from UCLA, and has considerable experience in conducting research for the state and private sector in South Africa. Dr Govender will be teaching graduate courses in social research in the Sociology Department, and contributing also to the CSSR's new Summer/Winter School courses. Dr Govender fills the second post funded from the UCT Vice-Chancellor's Strategic Fund, joining Dr Pedro Wolf who took up a joint appointment between the CSSR and the Psychology Department earlier this year.

Four chapters in new book on South Africa

A new volume on post-apartheid South Africa features no fewer than four chapters by CSSR researchers. After Apartheid: Reinventing South Africa?, edited by Ian Shapiro and Kahreen Tebeau (University of Virginia Press), opens with Jeremy Seekings' review of 'Poverty and Inequality in South Africa, 1994-2007'. Other chapters include 'Forging Democrats: A Partial Success Story?', by Bob Mattes, Nicoli Nattrass's 'AIDS Policy in Post-apartheid South Africa', and a chapter on 'The Role of Social and Economic Rights in Supporting Opposition in Postapartheid South Africa', co-authored by Lauren Paremoer.

New data access support service launched

The DataFirst research data centre has launched a new service in partnership with the CSSR. Eduard Grebe, ASRU researcher and PhD student in the School of Economics, has been employed by DataFirst to assist UCT students and staff on Upper Campus in accessing research datasets housed by DataFirst. Clients can obtain help in finding appropriate data for their planned analysis, registering and downloading datasets from DataFirst's online data catologue, accessing datasets that are not yet available in the catalogue and have datasets converted to a format compatible with their statistical software. Workshops and training courses in quantitative analysis techniques and the use of statistical software are also planned and will be announced in due course.

The CSSR colonises Oxford also

Three CSSR students are on their way to Oxford to study further - adding to a wave of migration from the CSSR to top universities across the world. Matthew MacDevette will be studying for an MSc. in Nature, Society and Environmental Policy at the School of Geography and the Environment, Dustin Kramer will be studying for a MA in Politics, and Maria Garcia is studying for an MSc in Environmental Change and Management. Within the CSSR, Matthew worked with (and criticised, constructively) Nicoli Nattrass on global expenditures on AIDS, Dustin worked with Bob Mattes on DARU's African Legislatures Project, and Maria worked with Beatrice Conradie on green tourism in the Southern Cape.

Durban AIDS conference

The CSSR had a strong presence at the conference on HIV in the Humanities and Social Sciences, held in Durban in mid-June. ASRU researchers organised two symposia together with colleagues from the University of KwaZulu-Natal. Rebecca Hodes and Annabelle Wienand (both ASRU) presented papers at a symposium on ‘Health horror stories and ‘positive’ portrayals: new research on HIV, TB and the body in the South African media’. Rebecca presented a second paper, and Beth Mills (ASRU/Sussex) also presented, at a symposium on ‘New directions in research on gender and HIV/AIDS in southern Africa’. In another session, Nicoli Nattrass (ASRU) and Clara Rubincam (ASRU/LSE) presented new research on AIDS conspiracy beliefs, using quantitative and qualitative data respectively.

More student successes

Congratulations to PhD students Duncan Pieterse and Ralph Ssebagala for winning scholarships allowing them to spend a semester in the US. Duncan will be spending the US fall semester at Brown University, in their Graduate Program for Development. Ralph will be spending the same semester up the road at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. Congratulations to Duncan and Ralph. Singumbe Muyeba will be at Yale (on a Fox Fellowship) at the same time.

Another student success

Kai Thaler has just been awarded a distinction for his Masters degree (by research only) on "Violence and Society in Post-Apartheid Cape Town". Kai's thesis uses data from the 5th wave of the Cape Area Panel Study (CAPS), supplemented with in-depth interviews, to examine participation by young men in violence, and the legitimation of violence. He finds that economic factors - including, especially, unemployment - are less important directly in the perpetration of violence than is usually imagined, whilst more immediate behavioural factors (such as heavy drinking) are more important.  

Africa Day 2011

Carlos Shenga at the DARU stall for Africa DayCSSR’s Democracy in Africa Research Unit (DARU) participated in a vibrant exhibition celebrating Africa Day and showcasing UCT’s partnerships and collaborations on the African continent from 23 to 25 May. The DARU exhibit, which featured information about the African Legislatures Project’s latest findings as well as AfroBarometer, the Open Society Monitoring Index, and the project for Political Leadership for HIV prevention in southern and eastern Africa, attracted a wide range of visiting scholars, donors and UCT students many of whom expressed interest in joining DARU.

Singumbe Muyeba wins Fox Fellowship to Yale

Singumbe Muyeba, a PhD student in the CSSR and the Sociology Department, has won a prestigious Fox International Fellowship to spend a year at Yale University in the USA. Singumbe's doctoral research examines the consequences of home-ownership for low-income households in Cape Town and Lusaka (Zambia). He will be using the opportunity of a year a Yale to read widely, audit relevant courses, and analyse his research. Singumbe is the fourth student from the CSSR to win a Fox Fellowship, following in the footsteps of Brendan Maughan-Brown, Colin Almeleh and Eduard Grebe. Singumbe has also won a scholarship to attend a Summer School on Comparative Urban Studies in Amsterdam in July, organised by the International Journal of Urban and Regional Research (IJURR) and Research Committee (RC) 21 of the International Sociological Association. Well done Singumbe.

New director of the CSSR

Jeremy Seekings is the new Director of the CSSR. Jeremy is Professor of Political Studies and Sociology at UCT and has headed the Social Surveys Unit in the CSSR since the CSSR was founded ten years ago.

Seminar: Pedro Wolf

In the next seminar in the CSSR seminar series, on Thursday 24 March, Dr Pedro Wolf will present his work on the use of GPS data. Pedro Wolf is a new joint appointment between the CSSR and Psychology Department. Previous seminars in 2011 have included presentations on the circumcision and HIV, the use of mixed methods in the study of violence, and traditional healers and HIV.

Rebecca Hodes presents research in Frankfurt

Rebecca Hodes, Deputy Director of the AIDS and Society Research Unit, presented her research at a roundtable discussion of policy makers and international development partners in Frankfurt last week.
The research, which focuses on the emergence of the civil society and legal advocacy coalition which formed to influence the reform of sexual offences laws in South Africa, was conducted under the aegis of the Developmental Leadership Program (a research initiative of the World Bank).
The paper is entitled, 'Structure and Agency in the Politics of a Women's Rights Coalition in South Africa: The Making of the Sexual Offences Act'. It can be accessed here. It is co-authored with Jennifer Thorpe and Orly Stern.

Video podcast: launch of "Growing Up in the New South Africa: Childhood and adolescence in post-apartheid Cape Town"

You can view the launch of the book "Growing Up in the New South Africa: Childhood and Adolescence in post-apartheid Cape Town" by Rachel Bray, Imke Gooskens, Sue Moses, Lauren Kahn and Jeremy Seekings below or download it in your podcast client.

Download Video: MP4 / webm