Doctoral Degrees (Sociology and Social Anthropology)

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Now showing 1 - 5 of 97
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    Ageing, gender and class: differences in experiences and livelihood strategies of ageing populations in Harare, Zimbabwe
    (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2022-04) Gweru, Benjamin; Francis, Dennis; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Dept. of Sociology and Social Anthropology.
    ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This study explores ageing as experienced by ageing populations of Harare, Zimbabwe, while raising questions about what constitutes the very category ageing. The study also explores the class and gender dimensions of ageing on the livelihoods of older populations. The research focuses on older people from the age of sixty-five who are heads of households. The study is designed from the perspective of an Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) in combination with Narrative Analysis (NA) situated within the theory of Social Constructionism, Intersectionality, and Theory of Practice by Bourdieu. The study draws on qualitative data collected from nine older people (both male and female) from three different localities of Harare: Epworth, Glen View, and Mt Pleasant. This research departs from common ways of viewing ageing people as passive and docile subjects, engaging with them, instead, as active agents who construct the social worlds they inhabit, albeit in material contexts which shape and constrain their agency. This means engaging with them as authorities about themselves, their everyday lives, their pleasures and anxieties and the relations and identifications they make. In adopting this research approach, my study generates new understandings about ways in which Zimbabwean ageing populations in the study construct and experience ageing, which debunked stereotypical associations of “ageing people” with intellectual and physical impairment. Indeed, one of the key findings which emerged from this research is that older people need recognition within research, not only as subjects to be used for knowledge gathering, but also as a populace with active personhoods. The findings of the study carry important implications for developing social policies to promote sound policies for ageing populations and the creation of opportunities to shape the lives of older people.
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    Gender, sexuality and schooling: An ethnography of young people in a secondary school in Kaduna State, Nigeria
    (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2022-04) Zaggi, Hilary; Francis, Dennis; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Dept. of Sociology and Social Anthropology.
    ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Studies in Nigeria have presented schools as complex spaces that provide little or no support for young people with regards to gender and sexuality. The view that young people are passive actors in developing their social world seeks to re-affirm the domination of adult constructed cultural values in schools. These cultural values seek to construct and regulate the behaviours of young people in ways that conform to heteronormative ideas of masculinities and femininities, thereby, denying young people agency in the construction of their social identities. This ethnographic study focuses on young people in a secondary school between the ages of 13-20 years. It explores the ways in which young people understand and construct their gender and sexuality through social interactions with others and how they navigate, resist, and respond to regulations within the school environment. The study is guided by the ideas of social constructivism. It argues that knowledge is created by social interactions among individuals in society. Influenced by the ideas of poststructural feminism, the study engaged with gender and sexuality as fluid concepts that are socially constructed, thereby debunking the essentialist idea that gender is biologically determined. The study also draws on the ideas of the New Sociology of Childhood (NSC). It engages with young people as experts in their reality, in this way, positions young people as active participants in the research process through which knowledge is collectively produced through everyday interaction in the school. The study adopts a child-centred approach to understand young people's constructions of stereotypical forms of gender and sexual identities promoted by heteronormative discourses within the school space. Findings from the study suggest new ways of engaging with young people in research of this nature in Nigerian schools. It further brings to fore the nuances around adults' construction of young people's social identities in ways that do not support the general well-being of young people in Nigerian schools.
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    Power struggles: An exploration of the contribution of renewable energy to sustainable development, decent work and the “just transition” through a case study of wind farm development outside Loeriesfontein, Northern Cape Province (2011-2020)
    (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2022-04) Malope, Boitumelo James; Walker, Cherryl; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Dept. of Sociology and Social Anthropology.
    ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Through a case study of the development of two linked wind farms outside Loeriesfontein, a small town in the Northern Cape Karoo, this dissertation explores the contribution of renewable energy to sustainable development, “decent work” and the “just transition” to a lowcarbon economy in South Africa. In considering how the just transition can be realised in Loeriesfontein and the wider Hantam Local Municipality, this dissertation draws on an understanding of sustainable development that rests on three non-negotiable moral imperatives: satisfying human needs, enhancing social equity and respecting environmental limits. It also locates the political struggles around the introduction of renewable energy into South Africa’s energy mix within an analysis of the Minerals-Energy-Complex (MEC) and the continued influence of this complex in South Africa’s political economy after the democratic transition of 1994. This dissertation thus broadens the focus on the plight of workers and their communities in the coal sector in current debates on the just transition, to include communities in the Northern Cape. This province is currently home to over half the projects in the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP). Since the introduction of the REIPPPP in 2011, studies have highlighted the programme’s potential for community development and job creation in the “host” communities located within a 50km radius from where renewable energy projects are constructed. However, there has been little research on actual developments within these sites and, as a result, the voices of the marginalised people living in these communities have been missing in the debates. My study utilised a case-study research design involving semi-structured in-depth interviews with key informants and former workers employed during the construction of the two wind farms, along with policy and documentary analysis, observation and primary data from a household survey. Main findings were the following. Firstly, the jobs created during the construction of the wind farms satisfied some but not all of the criteria of “decent work”: while wages and work conditions were generally better than those offered by other local employers, training opportunities were neglected. Furthermore, very few local workers could be absorbed into the workforce once the wind farms began operating. Company claims around the number of (short-term) jobs created were also misleading. Secondly, the community development projects initiated in terms of the REIPPPP’s local economic development scorecard were introduced in a piecemeal, top-down fashion and mired in local patronage politics. While targeting certain community needs, they fell short of advancing holistic sustainable development. The Community Trust established as part of the ownership structure of the two wind farms may have potential in alleviating household poverty once it becomes operational, but that will require strong, democratic management and ensuring that impoverished households in the municipality are targeted as beneficiaries. This dissertation confirms the importance of harnessing the investment in renewable energy towards sustainable development in host communities and broadening the understanding of what the just transition to a low-carbon economy entails in South Africa. It concludes with certain policy and research recommendations in this regard.
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    South African men's engagement in a feminist ethic of care: an extended case study
    (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2022-04) van den Berg, Wessel Jan; Fakier, Khayaat; Pattman, Rob; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Dept. of Sociology and Social Anthropology.
    ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Women in South Africa spend eight times more time on unpaid domestic and care work than men. Motivated by this unequal distribution of care, I aimed to investigate how men in South Africa participate in household child care and subsequently conducted an extended case study to explore how men who live in affluent neighbourhoods in Stellenbosch, South Africa, carry out the care of their young children. The dissertation includes documented social encounters, semi-structured interviews and participant observation conducted at participants’ homes or during family activities. The extended case study method provides a framework for research that is grounded in reflexive science. It allows for contribution to theory from empirical work, and for the consideration of macro-structural social forces such as policies and customs and micro-structural observations with families. Both the method and the theory of the case study were anchored in a post-structural feminist perspective that draws on discourses related to care, critical masculinities, engagements of men in gender equality, and fatherhood-focused psychology. The overarching theoretical framework that was used for the extended case study is based on Joan Tronto’s political argument for an ethic of care. For the theoretical lens through which the study was conducted, I complemented Tronto’s theory with contemporary post-structural feminist, critical masculinities, and fatherhood psychology literature. The empirical observations and findings are structured in accordance with the political framework that Tronto provided of the four phases of an ethic of care, namely caring about, caring for, giving care, and receiving care. In each instance, the findings are supplemented with more specific sociological and psychological theory related to the phase, drawing on the theoretical lens that was established in the initial theory chapter. The penultimate chapter describes the macro-structural forces that influenced men’s care interactions, including policies, kinship expectations and social norms. The study concludes with the argument that ‘men’s care interactions can contribute to democratic citizenship, and expand fathering beyond patriarchy’. I support this claim by describing how men’s care interactions expanded social norms of fathering, and provide suggestions for future theoretical avenues of research and intervention development.
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    Reaching for partnership: An intersectional study of occupational closure among women attorneys in South Africa
    (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2021-12) Meyer, Tamlynne; Fakier, Khayaat; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Dept. of Sociology and Social Anthropology.
    ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This research contributes to an understanding of the ways in which women attorneys experience social closure in the South African legal profession. The relevance for further research and debate is illustrated through the observed discrepancy between women’s representation during legal education and training, and their representation in the profession itself, especially at the partnership level. This study interrogates and uncovers how and why women continue to be marginalised, despite the removal of formal barriers and the enactment of legislation and policies to spearhead transformation, both in the country and profession. Through this, the thesis situates South Africa within the broader global debates on the sociology of professions which lacks a Southern African perspective. The investigation is approached from a mixed-method research design and a comprehensive and complex sociological framing, underpinned by feminist, Bourdieusan and organisational culture theoretical constructs. This provides a novel, but also an appropriate approach to the study, given the literature trends and the particular social, cultural and historical context of South Africa. The thesis presents the informal, invisible and hidden ways that produce and reproduce social closure in a specific context. These are often presented in nuanced, complex, contradictory, and ambiguous ways, which intersect with gender, race and class positions. The key elements I use to analyse social closure include intersectionality, voice, field (space), habitus, culture, and capital. I argue that all of these converge and are central to women’s experiences and material realities.