School of Social Sciences

Biniam Misgun

Biniam Misgun


Contact Number





Development Studies, Economic History


Howard College Campus

Office Address

Memorial Tower Building, 2nd Floor, Room 242

Degrees Held

  • PhD Candidate School of Sociology and Social Studies, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Sociology
  • Masters of Social Science at University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa (KwaZulu-Natal) Sociology
  • Bachelor of Social Science Honours at University of Natal, Durban, South Africa (KwaZulu-Natal), Sociology
  • Bachelor of Arts at University of Asmara, Asmara, Eritrea, Sociology and Anthropology

Research Interests

  • I am currently working towards the completion of my PhD, supervised by a SANPAD project team of supervisors affiliated to the University of Cape Town, the University of KwaZulu-Natal and the University of Amsterdam. Identities, Identifications and Strategies of Integration of African Migrants in South Africa: A Case Study of Ethiopian, Rwandan, and Senegalese Migrants.
  • My research interest includes the urban environment, city life and the Informal economy, Migration and Development, state institutions in Africa.



  •  B Misgun (2007) ‘Foreign Migrants in the Inner City of Durban’, in Rob Pattman and Sultan Khan (Eds.), Undressing Durban (Durban: Madiba Press), pp. 92-100.
  •  B. Misgun & W. Oakes (2007) ‘The white and black sands of the Durban Beachfront’, in Rob Pattman and Sultan Khan (Eds.), Undressing Durban (Durban: Madiba Press), pp. 118-125.
  • B. Misgun, S. Burton & M. Bydawell (2009) ‘Oribi Village
    Re-visited: A case study of desegregation and social integration in
    South Africa’ Loyola Journal of Social Science. Vol. XXIII, No.2,
    Jul-Dec 2009.
  • “Oribi Village Revisisted: A Case Study of desegregation and Social
    Integration in South Africa”, presented at the Conference: Sport,
    Leisure and Development in the 21st Century: Opportunities and
    Challenges, XVI SASA Congress, East London, SA, 2010
  • “Students’ Perception and Adaptation to Lingual Hegemony: Case Study of  UKZN PMB Campus Students,” presented at The Conference: Diversity,
    Transformation and the Student Experience in Higher Education Teaching
    & Learning, 4th Annual Teaching and Learning Conference, UKZN
    Pietermaritzburg, SA, 2010
  • “‘Habesha’ pursuing the South African dream:  narrative-biographical
    study of Ethiopian migrants’ identities and sense of community in
    movements and moments,” presented at The Conference: The Future of
    Cultures: Decennial Anthropology Southern Africa Conference at
    University of Stellenbosch, from 3-6 September 2011
  • “Notes From The Margin: Ethiopians’ Networks of Ethnic Social Relations
    and Ethnic Modes of Accumulating,” presented at Conference: Knowledge,
    Technologies, and Social Change: South African Sociological Association
    18th Annual Congress, University of Cape Town, from 1 – 4 July 2012

Teaching Courses

  • Political Economy of Food in Global Context – first level module
  • Political Ecology -Second level module
  • Key themes in Development Today -third level module
  • Environmental History/Policy
  • Comparative Development
  • Rural Studies, Gender and Development 

Postgraduate Student


  • Mzwandile Makhoba, 2011. “An Exploratory Study of Rationales influencing Route Choices of Private Car Owners: Case Study of Bisley, Pietermaritzburg,” Masters Dissertation  
  • Nospi Khumalo, 2010. “Discourses and practices of diversion: policy and practice of the child justice System” Masters Dissertation. 
  • Slindile P. Bombo, 2010. “Students’ Mobility and Access to Transport: A Gendered Analysis of University of KwaZulu-Natal Off-campus Students,” Honours Research Project
  •  Mzwandile Makhoba, 2007. “The influence of the perception of crime on decisions and preferences of routes by private car owners in the Pietermaritzburg Area,” Honours Research Project 
  • Julio G. Candieiro, 2007. “Cultural Reproduction and Social Capital among Congolese migrants in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa,” Honours Research Project
  • Ida Manyina Munsense, “Academic integration within the context of globalization: Experiences of students from the SADC region studying at Howard College (University of KwaZulu-Natal)” 2013
  • Calda de Vries, “An exploration into female-headed households, social capital, and household welfare: A case study of female-headed households in Eastwood (Pietermaritzburg)”, Masters Dissertation.
  • Lilian Oogo, “State building, Democratization and the Role of Ethnic Political Identity: A case study of Kenya,” Masters Research Project