News & events


Men and Morality: Investigating the Social, Cultural and Environmental Requirements for a Society with More than Just a Few Good Men

05 November 2009
15:30 - 16:00

Hosted by :


Start :

05 November 2009

End :

06 November 2009

Location :

Video Conference Centres, HSRC Buildings: Pretoria, Cape Town and Durban


There is an increasing interest and available expertise to do further work in this area, now focusing on the social and moral aspects of being a man in the context of social and material poverty.

HSRC Symposium to be held at the HSRC offices in Durban

In the South African and African contexts, the study of men and their moral practice and capacity, is located within the dynamics of human actions, development and change, and warrants philosophical, social science and humanist enquiry. In the Child, Youth, Family and Social Development Programme of the HSRC, a number of researchers and external collaborators have been working on masculinity/ies, fatherhood, and young men and violence over the past few years. There is an increasing interest and available expertise to do further work in this area, now focusing on the social and moral aspects of being a man in the context of social and material poverty. 

In March this year, a small group of us met to discuss the possibility of conducting a large scale research project on this subject. We received a small grant from the CEO’s office towards taking this initiative further. Our next step is to run a small research symposium to better understand the theoretical framework in which the study might be located, to reflect on existing work and consider proposals for a multidisciplinary and multiyear research agenda. It is envisaged that the symposium will facilitate the publication of papers in a special issue of a journal.

Please feel free to join us for any of the sessions as described in the Symposium Programme below.

Thursday 5 November 2009

Session 1 Laying the Foundations for Studying Masculine Morality                                          15.30-16.30

Chair: Linda Richter


  • Sharlene Swartz, Robert Mongwe and Valerie Anderson –  Masculine Morality in Social and Historical Context: A Quest and a Context
  • Jeremiah Chikovore  –  ‘Life seems to be divided into two periods; in the first we indulge, in the second we preach’:  Men’s Double Moral Lives


Session 2  The Moral Implications of Violence and HIV and AIDS                                               16.30-18.00

Chair: Robert Morrell

  • Kopano Ratele – The Moral Dimensions of Men’s Behaviour: Interrogating Violence/Alcohol-use/Sexual Practice
  • Vijay Hamlall  –  ‘I Know That I Could Have Walked Away But There Were People Around There’: Masculinities and Fights Between Boys at a High School in Durban
  • Admire Chirowodza and Heidi van Rooyen  –  Men’s Response to HIV and AIDS Stigma


Friday 6 November 2009

Session 3 What Counts as Moral Issues?                                                                                         09.00-10.30

Chair: Monde Makiwane

  • Ben Roberts, Busisiwe Mcwango and Lolita Winnaar – A Turning Tide? Changing Moral Attitudes Among South African Men
  • Nyameka Mankayi and Tammy Shefer – Constructions of Masculinity, Gender and Sexual Rights Among a Group of University Students at Two South African Universities
  • Desmond Lesejane  –  Brothers for Life and One Man Can: Moral Interventions for Men? (TBC)


Session 4  Moral Identity and Articulations of ‘The Good Man’                                                    11.00-12.30

Chair: Jeremiah Chikovore

  • Nhlanhla Mkhize  –  Male Moral Identity in an African Context
  • Monde Makiwane  –  Where are Men when it Counts? Demographics of Male Presence in the Lives of Children
  • Lynn Hendricks  –  Father Son Relationship Quality as a Protective Factor in Young Men’s Moral Risk Taking: Findings from a Study of Coloured Sons and Fathers in Cape Town
  • Ingrid van der Heijden and Busisiwe Magazi  –  Women’s Articulations of Men’s Morality in Black Communities in Cape Town


Session 5 Proposals for Empirical Studies                                                                                       13.30-15.00

Chair: Arvin Bhana

  • Sangeetha Madhavan, Kevin Roy and Linda Richter  –  Fathering Kin: Work and the Transition to Adulthood for Young Men and Women in Urban South Africa
  • Vicky Hosegood  –  Men’s Involvement in Families (with Monde Makiwane)
  • Nyameka Mankayi, Nhlanhla Mkhize and Graham Lindegger  –  Voices that Inform Masculine Moral Identity: A Cultural Perspective
  • Sharlene Swartz and Jeremiah Chikovore  –  More Than a Few Good Men: Investigating the Meaning and Means of Masculine Morality in South Africa
  • Tawanda Makusha and Linda Richter  –  Children’s Perceptions of the Role of Men in Supporting Them in the Context of HIV/AIDS and Poverty in Rural KwaZulu-Natal
  • Arvin Bhana  –  Morality and Mental Health: A Focus on Young Men’s Life Transitions
  • Lebo Moletsane and Sharlene Swartz  –  Male Teachers who have Sex with Students


Quo Vadis?                                                                                                                                                 15.30-16.00

Chair:  Sharlene Swartz

  • The Men and Morality Research Collaboration
  • Research proposals and funding
  • Proposed special issue
  • HSRC website
  • Advisory committee including African Partners
  • List of research collaborators
  • GO and FBO implementation networks
  • Future symposia