Last week, The Families and Societies Research Unit at the Centre for Social Science Research hosted a very successful one-day workshop on the relationship and interaction between social grants and the social assistance program more broadly and intra/inter-household dynamics and familial responsibility. The workshop was supported by the DST-NRF Centre of Excellence in Human Development. The workshop was attended by 12 participants coming from all over South Africa and included several presentations from PhD and postdoctoral students.
In the 2010s the term “black tax” became widely used to describe the unceasing claims of family members on the incomes of working black South Africans. There are various ways to contextualize the term’s recent use, including examining its connections to the #RhodesMustFall and #FeesMustFall movements. Yet this talk develops a historical viewpoint exploring the contested ways in which money and emotions became attached to formal education—as schooling itself increasingly became necessary to secure employment. Focused on Umlazi in the 1960s, the talk emphasizes gendered family dynamics surrounding schooling in this newly built apartheid township located on the outskirts of Durban. It shows the particular efforts that mothers made to school their children—despite and indeed because of apartheid’s oppressive educational and urban policies. In the face of increasingly insecure intimate relations, a booming economy, and expanded basic education, mothers’ attention to their children’s and grandchildren’s education grew in importance and scale: education required sacrifices but promised children’s eventual support.
Presenter biography: Mark Hunter is Associate Professor of Geography at the University of Toronto and Honorary Research Fellow at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. He has degrees from the Universities of Sussex (B.A. hons), KwaZulu-Natal (Masters) and University of California-Berkeley (PhD). He is the author of Love in the Time of AIDS: Inequality, Gender, and Rights in South Africa (Indiana and KwaZulu-Natal University Presses) and is currently completing a book on schooling, families and class in Durban.
Congratulations to FaSRU researcher and PhD candidate, Nicole Daniels, for publishing an article, ‘Doing Homebirth Like a Man” in the Journal of Gender Studies. Nicole’s article is based on her Master’s research which explored the homebirth narratives of middle-class South African couples. The article explores the intersections between South African men’s narratives of homebirth and constructions of masculinity by posing two specific questions: Do men’s narratives of homebirth reproduce or subvert normative ideals and modes of masculinity? How does the experience of homebirth potentially interrupt normative ideas about being a man and how do men negotiate competing discourses of masculinity in their narratives? To access the article, click on the link: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/09589236.2017.1301811
A new book by Senior Lecturer Dr Elena Moore pays attention to the oft-neglected emotional, relational and familial aspects of post-divorce everyday family practices.
Divorce, Families and Emotion Work: 'Only Death Will Make Us Part' (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016) focuses 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.
On Tuesday last (17th January) Elena was invited to talk about the pressure society places on women to marry. The discussion was a response to the news that Pastor Alph Lukau from Alleluia Ministries last year held a conference in Johannesburg, for women seeking marriage proposals. He said all he needed to do was anoint their ring fingers and Mr Right would appear in 90 days. Women from all corners of the world gathered at Gallagher Estate in Johannesburg, each paying between R450 to R5, 000 for a VIP ticket.
To watch the interview, click on the link below:
Lwando Scott and Isaac Chinyoka, both undertaking doctoral research at FaSRU, caught up at Yale recently. Lwando was presenting a lunchtime seminar on 'Same-Sex Marriage in South Africa' while Isaac received the Fox Fellowship and is spending the 2016-2017 academic year at Yale.
Household economies of low-income, African female-headed households in Khayelitsha: intergenerational support, conflict, and tension"
Kirsty Button and Nicole Daniels in Edinburgh
Congratulations to three of our PG students, Isaac Chinyoka, Nicole Daniels and Kirsty Button, who presented papers at international conference: Unequal Families and Relationships. The conference organised by the Centre for Research on Families and Relationships was held at The University of Edinburgh, 13-15 June 2016. The students were supported by the Families and Societies Research Unit at the CSSR, directed by Elena Moore. Elena and the team wish to express their gratitude for the warm welcome they received from Prof. Lynn Jamieson.
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.