The SACOPS project focuses on the role of politicians in democratic governance and specifically the role played by the local government councillors. More than 20 years after its first election South Africa us rife with protests and complaints about access to and quality of local government services. And yet it is also the case that many elected local leaders are hard-working agents of democratic government, and millions of South Africans have gained improved access to better services since the end of apartheid.
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.
This paper asks whether a country’s choice of electoral system affects the methods citizens use to try and hold their government accountable. A large body of literature suggests that electoral system type has an impact on voting behavior, but little work has been done so far looking at other forms of democratic accountability (contact and protest). Using Round 6 Afrobarometer data, combined with a new, author-created, dataset, we find that the type of electoral system does indeed have a significant impact on these other forms of participation. Citizens in PR systems are significantly more likely to protest when they are dissatisfied than those in majoritarian ones, while those in majoritarian systems are more likely to contact their elected representatives.
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.
People participate more in politics when they believe someone represents their interests. In the contemporary United States, having a representative who shares a person’s racial, ethnic, or gender identity increases participation and furthers political incorporation of immigrants. Three empirical analyses support these claims. The first shows the effect of coethnic candidacies on vote turnout among Vietnamese Americans. The second study shows the positive effect of having coethnic/cogender U.S. state legislators on voter turnout. The third study shows the positive effect of “feeling represented” on several types of political participation by Latinos in 1989 and Latinos, African Americans, and Asian Americans in 2016.
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?
Despite the increasing HIV incidence among young South African women, HIV counseling and testing (HCT) rates remain unacceptably low. One in three young women has a pregnancy by the age of 20. Alternative strategies should be explored in order to increase prevention and screening among high-risk adolescents.
Child abuse victimisation is a major public health concern in South Africa. Research on risk and protective factors and prevention interventions is still in its infancy. In this talk, Franziska will describe findings on linkages between risk factors of abuse and putative health outcomes as well as ongoing research on the prevention of child abuse using parenting interventions. Further, she will talk about issues regarding the measurement of child abuse and potential ways forward to mitigate these.
This paper analyses the shift from a mass based women’s movement in the form of the Women’s National Coalition in South Africa to more localized temporal movements since political transition twenty years ago. I will apply Nancy Fraser’s theory of recognition and redistribution to illustrate how two alliances – the Shukumisa campaign around gender based violence and the Alliance for Rural democracy around the Traditional Courts Bill meets the criteria of localized temporal movements that engage the state with the intention of recognizing identities and redistributing resources to promote gender equality. I will compare these alliances with the actions of the ANC Women’s League.
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.
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.
Do Africans even care about democracy? Do Africans want presidents for life? Do Africans only like their own ethnic group? Isn’t bribery just an accepted way of life in Africa? Do Africans believe in equal rights for women?
Our latest film tells the story of Afrobarometer, the world’s premier source of reliable data on public perceptions and attitudes across Africa.
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