The seminar will focus on parental commitment to family life, after divorce, in contrast to its common perception as an irrevocable breaking up of the family unit, which is often perpetuated by representations from popular culture and the media. In the first detailed review of emotions and emotion work undertaken by divorced parents, the findings shed light on how parents manage feelings of guilt, fear, on-going anger and everyday unhappiness in the course of family life post-divorce. The author argues that the emotional dimension of divorce is shaped by societal and structural factors and requires parents to undertake considerable emotion work in the creation of new moral identities. The findings also point to the often gendered responsibilities for sustaining family lives post separation, and how these reflect extensive inequalities in family practices. The author concludes that divorce is not dangerous for society; it is not a social evil or a demonstration of the rise of selfish individualism, and that divorcees remain committed to former partners and children long after divorce.
Elona Toska, CSSR Research Fellow, presented preliminary findings from the Mzantsi Wakho study (led by Dr. Rebecca Hodes at ASRU and Prof. Lucie Cluver at U. of Oxford) at the 20th International Workshop on HIV Observational Databases in Budapest, Hungary on April 7-9, 2016. IWHOD brings together junior and senior researchers from both developed and developing countries working on cohorts of patients with HIV, to present in an informal format their latest findings and work in progress, followed by open discussions on common issues of cohort methodology, techniques and statistics. Elona presented preliminary findings on linkages between social protection and unprotected sex in the Mzantsi Wakho adolescent health study, which is part of her doctoral research. These findings suggest that combinations of interventions are associated with greater reductions in unprotected sex. These effects were even stronger among adolescent girls.
The election in 2011 of President Michael Sata and his party, the Patriotic Front (PF), led to not only a major expansion of social cash transfers (SCTs) but to a decision for the initiative to be mostly state (as opposed to donor) driven as well. This study finds that under the former ruling party, the Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD), there was a failure to address salient issues such as unemployment and income inequality, despite sustained economic growth between 2002 and 2011. The shortcomings of the MMD’s neoliberal economic framework led to increased demand especially among urban Zambians for a pro -poor reform agenda. Sata and the PF capitalised on these demands using a populist electoral strategy that included promises of pro-poor economic growth that would benefit people in villages and urban townships. Between 2011 and 2014, i.e. from the time of Sata’s election to his death in office, the PF government emphasised a shift from agricultural subsidies (which were preferred by the MMD) to cash transfers while also increasing budgetary allocations to other social protection programmes such as empowerment funds for youth and women. Reforms were also driven in part by other actors including international donors and agencies, civil society and bureaucrats, all of whom interacted with political leaders through various processes. The study highlights the importance of socio-economic factors, populist politics, electoral dynamics, and the roles played by different actors to understanding social policy reforms that happened after a change of government in Zambia.
Hangala Siachiwena holds a BA in Development Studies and Economics from the University of Zambia and an MPhil in Development Studies from the University of Cape Town (UCT). He is currently a PhD candidate in the UCT’s Sociology department and a researcher on the Legislating and Implementing Welfare Policy Reforms (LIWPR) research project in the CSSR. His research looks at how and why social protection policy making is affected by changes of government in Southern African countries, including Malawi, Namibia and Zambia.
Congratulations to Lesley Gittings for her first peer-reviewed article, which has recently been published in the Journal of Culture, Health and Sexuality. The article, entitled ‘”When you visit a man you should prepare yourself”: male community care worker approaches to working with men living with HIV in Cape Town, South Africa’ is based on her Masters Thesis and was first developed as a CSSR working paper. See: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13691058.2016.1150513
A big congratulations! to one of our Master's students, Kirsty Button for her first peer-reviewed article, which is published in Journal of Southern African Studies. The article, 'South Africa’s System of Dispute Resolution Forums: The Role of the Family and the State in Customary Marriage Dissolution', started as her Honours thesis, was developed and converted into a working paper and ended up in JSAS. Elena Moore and Chuma Himonga co-authored. See: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/03057070.2016.1148390
Although immigrant integration policies have long been hypothesised to be causally related to the salience of xenophobia, systematic empirical research investigating this relationship only gained momentum in recent years. One of the more robust findings is that more permissive policies seem to be associated with decreased perceptions of group threat from immigrants. Yet, these research projects are often limited to once-off cross-sectional comparisons of immigrant integration policies, and anti-foreigner sentiments in European countries. This study uses systematic methods to test the direction of the policy-attitude linkage through a longitudinal analysis. Moreover, the study contributes to the existing literature by expanding this test to South Africa, representing the hitherto under-researched developing world setting and a geographical area that differs from the highly industrialised European context. The longitudinal analysis of immigrant integration policies in Germany and South Africa confirms that over time both countries implemented several changes that resulted in more accommodating policy frameworks. A subsequent analysis of the policy-attitude relationship confirms the direction of causality running from policies to citizens’ economic and cultural threat perceptions. Furthermore, the results confirm that integration policies indeed have the theorised mediating influence on the salience of economic threat in Germany. However, immigrant integration policies do not seem to be connected to economic threat in the case of South Africa.
Lesley Gittings has been awarded funding from the National Research Foundation (NRF) under their Innovation scheme (international non-SADC student category) for 2016. The Innovation Doctoral funding instrument is part of the Innovation Bursary Scheme (IBS) funded by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and managed by the National Research Foundation (NRF). It aims to broaden the frontiers of knowledge in innovation areas and to build the PhD pipeline for a knowledge based economy. The competitive evaluation process is based on academic performance, leadership roles, potential research outputs and impact, and the feasibility and merit of the applicant’s research project proposal.
The lecture presents findings from long-term content analyses of the coverage of German election campaigns in newspapers and television news and of electoral spots on television. These findings thus show how the media reporting of elections changed over time and also of how the parties present themselves to the electorate. In particular, it will be discussed whether there has been a trend towards personalization in a political system that is dominated by parties.
In the third part of the series of the reform of customary marriage, divorce and intestate succession, we show how customary practices of male primogeniture continue to operate. The reformed laws on intestate succession have not ensured greater protection for women and extra marital children in matters of intestate succession.
In the second part of the series on the reform of customary marriage, divorce and intestate succession, Elena Moore and Chuma Himonga discuss the challenges experienced in ensuring gender equality upon the dissolution of a customary marriage:
In a three part series featured in GroundUp, Elena Moore and Chuma Himonga (NRF Chair in Customary Law) unpack the thorny issues which arose from a national study on the implementation of the new laws on customary marriage, divorce and succession. They present the findings and outline what remains to be done to improve the implementation of these laws. See the first article:
Rebecca Hodes has published an article in the Journal of Southern African Studies, 42, 1 (2016), pp. 79-93, as part of a special edition on 'South Africa in Transition'. The volume is edited by Jason Robinson, Jonny Steinberg and David Simon. Hodes's article is entitled 'The Culture of Illegal Abortion in South Africa'.
The article is available here, and the abstract is below:
Alecia Ndlovu has joined UCT as a lecturer in the Department of Political Studies, on a post funded through the CSSR. Alecia is currently completing her PhD in International Relations at Wits University. She holds a BA in International Relations and Applied Economics, as well as an MA (Cum Laude) in International Relations. Her main research and teaching interests are in political economy (comparative and international) and quantitative methods. Her thesis is entitled “Sustaining the unsustainable? Political institutions and development in sub-Saharan Africa’s resource economies.” It combines cross-national statistical research and fieldwork in four African countries—Ghana, Mozambique, Namibia and Zambia. Alecia's appointment strengthens the university's teaching and research in both quantitative social science and comparative African politics.