News & events


Ikasi: The Moral Ecology of South Africa’s Township Youth Book Launch

18 August 2010
12:30 - 14:30

Date :

18 August 2010

Time :

12:30 – 14:30


What is it like to be growing up young, black and poor in post-Apartheid South Africa? What difference does poor schooling, partial-parenting, a history of dehumanising racial subjugation, and the normalisation of violence make to young people’s moral lives? How do they retain their humanity in the midst of filthy environments, struggles for survival, the physiological effects of poverty, the absence of recreation, and the widespread availability of alcohol and drugs?

Sharlene Swartz’s new book, Ikasi, examines these questions through a moral and sociological lens and offers fresh perspective on the challenges facing young people in South Africa today and how best these challenges might be addressed.

Copies of the book will be available for purchase and refreshments will be served following the seminar. Parking is available on request.

Dr Sharlene Swartz is a youth activist, sociologist and senior research specialist at the HSRC, and a visiting research fellow at the University of Cambridge. She holds a masters degree from Harvard University and a PhD from the University of Cambridge. She is the author of Teenage Tata (with Arvin Bhana) and editor of Moral education in sub-Saharan Africa (with Monica Taylor).

The presentation from the seminar is now available for download


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Pretoria: HSRC Video Conference, 1st floor HSRC Library Human Sciences Research Council, 134 Pretorius Street, Pretoria. Arlene Grossberg, Tel: (012) 302 2811, e-mail:, Baby Twala, Tel (012) 302-2368, E-mail: