Families and Societies Research Unit


Elena Moore

Elena is Director of the FaSRU and a Senior Research Fellow. Her interests lie in the field of personal life, kinship, gender, intergenerational relations, divorce, family law and policy, feminist theories, biographical methods and mixed methods. She recently published a book called Divorce, Families and Emotion Work and is co-author of a book on Customary Marriage, Divorce and Intestate Succession in South Africa.

Kirsty Button

Kirsty holds an Honours degree in Sociology from UCT. She is currently undertaking a Master’s degree in Sociology at UCT, through coursework and dissertation. She has been involved in a National Research Foundation Chair in Customary Law Research Project which aimed to understand the operation of reformed customary marriage, divorce and succession laws in practice

Nicole Daniels

Nicole has been involved in research with the African Gender Institute and the School of Public Health at UCT. Her research interests centre on issues relating to women. Currently positioned more broadly in the Sociology of birth, her research focuses on home birth in the greater Cape Town area. As a mother of two, she is especially interested in narrativity and the means through which we speak of and author our human experiences.

Isaac Chinyoka

Isaac is a researcher and doctoral student in the CSSR, working on variations in social assistance programmes for families and children in selected southern African countries. His thesis is an analysis of why some countries in this region make social protection provision for children and adults, and others not.

Stanford Mahati

Stanford is a migration researcher for the CSSR. He is conducting research on the project on “the functioning and consequences of transnational child raising arrangements in South and North: Angolan, Nigerian and Ghanaian migrant parents living in South Africa and the Netherlands”. He has worked in South Africa and Zimbabwe for over ten years collecting and analysing data. An Ebelin and Gerd Bucerius “Settling Into Motion” Fellow, he specialized in the field of childhood studies and child migration.

Nonzuzo Mbokazi

Nonzuzo Mbokazi is a sociologist, holding a Master of Social Science in Sociology from Rhodes University. She is currently pursuing a PhD with the Department of Sociology at the University of Cape Town. Her doctoral research is focused on low income working mothers and childcare state policy. Nonzuzo has a strong interest in public policy as she is of the view that sociology can help to better understand how institutional inertia affects public policy initiatives, which are so pertinent to a developing country such as South Africa. Nonzuzo Mbokazi is also a researcher with the Mzantsi Wakho study at the AIDS and Society Research Unit.

Lwando Scott

Lwando Scott is currently a PhD candidate in Sociology at the University of Cape Town. His doctoral research is on same-sex marriage in South Africa. In 2013/14 he was a research fellow with the Fox International Fellowship program at Yale University. He was an Assistant Lecturer for Diversity Literacy at the University of Cape Town (2011, 2012). In the winter of 2015 he was involved with the SHAWCO international student volunteer winter program. He has interned at the Desmond Tutu Aids Foundation (2011), and the Institute for Security Studies (2007). Lwando’s work, academic and otherwise, is centered around advancing queer politics in South Africa.

Susan Holland-Muter

Susan Holland-Muter has been active in women’s and LGBTI struggles in South Africa and Colombia as a feminist political activist and researcher. She is currently a PhD student in Sociology. Her work focuses on the politics of gender, sexuality, race and place in Cape Town, exploring lesbians’ everyday negotiations of the city through a number of inter-related spheres. These include perceptions and experiences of Cape Town as being both the gay capital of South Africa as well as the centre of racism and inequity; secondly, perceptions and experiences of families of origin and families of choice and lastly, the politics of love and desire.

Martha Kavhai

Martha holds an Honours degree in Social Anthropology from UCT. She is currently studying towards her Master’s in Sociology. Her research interests center on understanding how people end up living on the streets in South Africa. She is currently focusing on understanding black South African mothers’ pathways into street homelessness, focusing on the family as a site of conflict

Seo Hyung Jenny Lee

Jenny is currently a student at the University of Cape Town studying towards her Masters in Development Studies. Her present research project is involved in work-family interface research in contemporary South Africa. Her work focuses on gender equality and how dual-career families manage and negotiate their responsibilities associated with employment and personal life.

Adrian Badminton

Adrian holds an Honours degree in Psychology from UNISA and is currently completing a Masters degree in Sociology at UCT by coursework and dissertation. His work is looking at how the law shapes and reshapes the concept of ‘fatherhood’ through an analysis of custody/divorce cases.

Jill Chidisha Samukimba

Jill is a UCT student currently pursuing an Honours degree in Development Studies. Jill is a transnational parenting (i.e. parenting across borders) and migration researcher. She is interested in transnational families in Africa. Her current Honours’ research examines how transnational fathers provide care for their children and use communication technologies to create and maintain intimacy. She is fascinated by the ways in which parental roles as defined in various African cultures and societies get to be maintained and renegotiated in transnational families.

Zandile Ndebele

Holds a Master’s Degree (LLM) in Taxation from the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban. She is currently pursuing a PhD in Commercial Law with a specialisation in tax law under the Faculty of Law at the University of Cape Town.  Her PhD research topic is inter-disciplinary, focusing on exploring the tax burden on the black middle-class household. Her research aim is to contribute to the discussion on intergenerational wealth creation and transfer within the black middle-class household in South Africa.