The Division of Social and Behavioural Sciences (DSBS) is situated in the School of Public Health and Family Medicine (SOPHFM) and was created in 2013 to coordinate the School's teaching and research in the social and behavioural sciences. The core mission of DSBS is the development of critical health social science within a public health content. The 'critical' perspective allows us to reimagine dominant ways of understanding individual behaviour and social practice, and to develop theories of health and society that are more holistic, rigorous and revealing. Our public health setting in the SOPHFM gives us the opportunity to apply these critical theories in practice in ways that ultimately strengthen both our action in and understanding of the world.
Christopher Colvin is an Associate Professor and Founding Head of DSBS and holds a PhD in socio-cultural anthropology from the University of Virginia and a Masters in Public Health from UCT in epidemiology. His research interests include HIV and masculinity; health activism and community health governance; trauma, subjectivity and narrative; and the interface between communities and health systems in the context of HIV/AIDS, TB and maternal and child health.
Jennifer Githaiga is a Lecturer in DSBS and manages the BRIDGES Program. She holds a PhD in Psychology from UCT, an MA in Counselling Psychology from the United States International University – Africa, and an MA in Communication from Daystar University, Nairobi, Kenya. Her research interests include psychosocial dynamics and social constructions of chronic illnesses; cancer and informal gendered caregiving; subjectivities and reflexivity in research, and; adapting qualitative research methods for contextual relevance.
Natasha Kannemeyer holds a BA in Psychology and is currently pursuing her Masters in Public Health. She currently works as the Special Projects Coordinator in the Division. She has an interest in expanding the reach and the presence of the Division and its research work. Natasha works as the production and art editor of the Fieldnotes site ensuring that posts are visually appealing and ready for posting in time.
Nonzuzo Mbokazi is currently pursuing a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Chronic Disease Initiative for Africa where she works on two qualitative studies improving the care and support for diabetes patients and HIV+ patients with co-morbidities in South Africa. Nonzuzo was the research administrator for the iALARM project.
Shehani Perera is a DPhil in Public Health candidate in DSBS. Her doctoral research is on Assisted Partner Notification among providers and female patients in South Africa and previously, she has conducted research in Khayelitsha township with young women on sexual health and religion. She is a BRIDGES Fellow and currently works as a Public Health Consultant on the Umoya Omuhle project and has previously worked as a Research Fellow on public health and gender-related projects. Shehani is also a Registered Social Worker and has experience working at schools, clinics and in the field of intellectual and physical disabilities.