Research is an integral part of the Department and individual members of staff enjoy national as well as international recognition within their fields. The Department is embedded in an active network of research partnerships and collaboration spanning academic institutions, NGOs and government departments across South Africa, Africa and further afield.
A major strength of the Department is its commitment to the integration of thinking and practice around Social Theory and Research Methodology in its postgraduate research training.
Since the mid-1990s the Department has had a strong research focus on: community development, poverty and social security (both national and provincial); the agricultural sector in the Western Cape; social science research methods; science and technology studies; and urban, youth and gender studies. It has also conducted applied research in the area of local and regional development.
In recent years new research interests and projects have been added to these established fields, including the social aspects of HIV/AIDS, armed forces in society, land reform and the environment, cultural identities, and the sociology of religion.
The following broad clusters reflect the diversity of research interests in the Department. The details of specific research projects will be added to this page in the near future. More information on research can also be found in the staff profiles.
Social theory and social science research methodology
Anthropology/sociology of development
Gender, sexuality and society (including HIV/AIDS)
Culture, language and race
Religion and identity
Land, environment and society
The sociology of work
Policing, armed forces and society
Urbanization, migration and new forms of governance
Knowledge, science and technology (including higher education teaching)
Anthropology/sociology of health, medicine and the body
Visiting research fellows and post-doctoral students
Arrangements for hosting visiting research fellows and post-doctoral students can be initiated either through individual staff members or the Head of Department and are finalised in discussion with the Department as a whole. The Department welcomes the opportunity to strengthen its current research programmes and networks through such opportunities, subject to the availability of resources.