School of Social Sciences

Sharmla Rama

ramas@ukzn.ac.za

031-260-5188

  • Details

  • Position Lecturer
  • Discipline Sociology
  • CampusPietermaritzburg Campus
  • Office AddressNew Arts Building, Room 337A, Golf Road Campus

About Me

Sharmla Rama is a sociologist based in the School of Social Sciences, the Pietermaritzburg campus of the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN). Prior to this, she was a research specialist in the Child, Youth and Family programme, Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC), and previously, a survey statistician at Statistics South Africa. Sharmla’s PhD, in Sociology completed in 2014 (UKZN), raised questions about the epistemological worldview and evidence-base supporting transport (mobility) research, policies and practices on children and youth in South Africa. Shamla completed a post-graduate diploma in Higher Education in 2017, and this stimulated an interest in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) Sociology. At UKZN, Sharmla teaches and coordinates a number of undergraduate and postgraduate modules.

Degrees Held

  • Post-Graduate Diploma in Higher Education (UKZN)
  • PhD (Sociology) (UKZN)
  • Masters of Arts (Sociology) (University of Natal)
  • Bachelor of Arts Honours (Sociology) (University of Natal)
  • Bachelor of Arts (Sociology and Geography) (University of Natal)

Research Interests

  • Sociology of Childhood and Youth (emerging niche area): Space, Place, and Mobility and Transport
  • Gender and development:
  • Theory – Global South thinkers, Africanisation, Decolonisation and Indigenisation
  • Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Sociology

Membership of Professional Bodies

  • 2018-2022 Board Member of Research Committee 53 International Sociological Association
  • 2018-2022 RC53 Newsletter Co-editor
  • 2014-2018 Board Member of Research Committee 53 International Sociological Association
  • 2019 Member of the American Sociological Association – New International Associate Member
    • Member of the Children and Youth ASA Section
    • Member of the Teaching and Learning in Sociology Section
  • 2013- 2021 Member of the International Sociological Association (ISA)
    • 2017- 2021 Member of the ISA Research Committees on Regional and Urban Development (RC21)
    • 2013- 2021 Member of the ISA Research Committees on Youth (RC34)
    • 2013- 2021 Member of the ISA Research Committees on Children (RC53)
  • 2012-2019 Member of the South African Sociological Association
Teaching

Interests and Expertise

  • 2018 to date – Contemporary Sociological Theory SOC 301 (level three exit module)
  • 2009 to date – Research Design, Methods and Analysis SOC 700 (Honours exit module)
  • 2009 – 2018 Introduction to Sociology SOC 101
  • 2012 –2015 LIIS834: Data Analysis and Presentation (Information Studies)
  • 2011 Social change SOCY202
  • 2011 At Howard College: Sociology 102 and 202 – IWLP
  • 2010 Introduction to Contemporary Sociology SOC 815
  • 2009-2017 Social Research, Design and Practice SOC 800 (previously 803)
  • 2009 and 2011 Introduction to Contemporary Sociology SOC 702
  • 2009 – 2014 Research Methods: An Introduction SOC 305
  • 2009 – 2012 Rural Studies, Gender and Development SOC 707
  • 2009 – 2011 Rural Studies, Gender and Development SOC 807
  • 2008 – 2016 Introduction to South African Society SOC 102
  • 2008 – 2009 Research Methods in Social Methods SOC 103
Selected

Publications

  • Rama, S. (2014). Child mobility, time use, and social exclusion: Reframing the discourse and debates. Doctor of Philosophy (Sociology), University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa.
  • Rama, S. (1999). The influence of transport on the life chances and experiences of school goers: A case study of the Pietermaritzburg District. Masters Dissertation submitted for the degree of Master of Arts, in the Department of Sociology, Faculty of Arts, University of Natal, Pietermaritzburg.
  • Streak, J; Dawes, A; Ewing, D; Levine, S; Rama, S and Alexander, L (2007). Children working in the commercial and subsistence agriculture in South Africa: A child labour-related rapid assessment study. Pretoria: Human Sciences Research Council in Association with Department of Labour, as lead department in the Child Labour Programme of Action
  • Richter, L. and Rama, S. (2006). Building resilience: A rights-based approach to children and HIV/ AIDS in Africa. Save the Children Sweden.
  • Richter, L. and Rama, S. (2006). Summary version: Building resilience: A rights-based approach to children and HIV/ AIDS in Africa. Save the Children Sweden.
  • Potgieter, C-A., Pillay, R., and Rama, S., (2006). Women, development and transport in rural Eastern Cape. Cape Town: HSRC Press.
  • Noble, M, Babita, M, Barnes, H, Dibben, C, Magasela, W, Noble, S, Ntshongwana, P, Phillips, H, Rama, S, Roberts, B, Wright G and Zungu, S. (2006). The Provincial Indices of Multiple Deprivations for South Africa. Centre for the Analysis of South African Social Policy, UK.
  • Bah, SM and Rama, S. (Eds) (1999).). Towards improving the registration of marriages and divorces in South Africa: Proceedings of a national workshop. Statistics South Africa, Pretoria (ISBN 0621298298)
  • Rama, S and Bah, S.M (2000) Strategic monitoring and evaluation document for the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child in South Africa, 1999-2004. Presidency, South Africa.
  • Rama, S and Ndamane, S (forthcoming). Students’ insights and understanding of the notion ‘decolonising curriculum in higher education’ at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg, Alternation Special Issue (2019):- South Africa: Re-imagining the Rainbow Nation.
  • Rama, S (2018). Gendered mobilities: the methodology, theory and practice disjuncture, Agenda, Vol. 32, No. 2, pp 113-122.
  • Rama, S (2014). Developing ‘new’ avenues and domains in youth research: Youth mobility and transport, South African Review of Sociology. Vol. 45, No. 3, pp 95-112.
  • Rama, S (1999). Vital secrets still go to the grave, Children First, December 1999/ January 2000, Vol. 3, No. 28.
  • Rama, S (forthcoming). ‘Examining child mobility and transport in South Africa. Challenges for theory and practice’ Chapter in Claudio Baraldi & Lucia Rabello De Castro (eds), Proposed Title: Global Childhoods in International Perspective: Universality, Diversity, Migrations and Inequalities – Sage Studies in International Sociology.
  • Rama, S and Kubeka K (forthcoming). ‘Reimaging Intersectionality in Social exclusion in South Africa”. Chapter in proposed Oxford Handbook of Global South Youth Studies. Editors Sharlene Swartz, Adam Cooper, Clarence Batan and Rosa-Maria Camarena-Cordova.
  • Richter, L., Dawes, A., Rama, S., and Chandan, U., (2008). Children in South Africa. The Greenwood Encyclopaedia of Children’s Issue Worldwide: Sub-Saharan Africa- South Africa -Volume Editor: Laura Arnston. Westport: Greenwood Press.
  • Rama, S and Richter, L.M (2007). Children’s household work as a contribution to the well-being of the family and household. Chapter Seven, in Amoateng, A.Y and Richter L.M (eds) Families and Households in South Africa. Cape Town: HSRC Press.
  • Rama, S (2019 – work in progress). ‘Teaching Mills’ Sociological Imagination in a sociology undergraduate curriculum in the context of indigenisation, Africanisation and decolonization: Paradox and Confluence’. Paper to be presented at international conference “The Decolonial Turn and the Humanities Curriculum: Prospects, Practice and Interventions” to be held at the University of Pretoria on 10-12 July 2019.
  • Rama, S (2018). Thinking through Place, Space and Mobility: Domains for Understanding Children’s Well-Being and Lived Realities. XIX International Sociological Association World Congress of Sociology, 15-21 July 2018, Toronto, Canada
  • Mthethwa LJ and Rama, S (2015). The experiences and challenges of adapting to an inclusive education-learning environment: A study of students living with disabilities at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Howard College campus. UKZN Disability Support Unit Research Indaba- 7 October 2015, Westville Country Club, Durban.
  • Ramas, S (2014). Examining Child Mobility and Transport: Challenges for Theory and Practice. XVIII International Sociological Association World Congress of Sociology, Yokohama, Japan, 13-17 July 2014.
  • Ramas, S (2014). Socio-political and empirical representations of children in national development agendas: reproducing or reframing of dominant worldviews? South African Sociological 2014 Annual Congress, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan, Port Elizabeth, South Africa.5-8 July 2014.
  • Ramas, S (2013). Children’s Positioning, Portrayal and (Re) Presentation in Mobility Studies: Towards Reframing The Discourses and Practices. South African Sociological 2013 Annual Congress, University of South Africa, City of Tshwane, South Africa.30 June to 3 July 2013
  • Rama, S. (2008). Children’s Mobility, Time Use and Social Exclusion. 8th Annual Transport Research Symposium of the Eastern Centre of Transport Development (Ecotd), 31 October 2008. Assagay Hotel and Conference Centre, Assagay.
  • Rama, S. (2007). The Identification of Data Systems on Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC). Department of Social Development, NACCA Research Working Group, 23 November 2007.  Pretoria.
  • Rama, S. (2007). The Identification of Data Systems on Orphans and Vulnerable Children. Department of Social Development, NACCA Meeting, 23 August 2007.  Pretoria.
  • Rama, S., and Naidoo, E., (2006). The Identification of Data Systems on Orphans and Vulnerable Children. Department of Social Development, Research Dissemination Workshop, 7th -9th November 2006, Roode Vallei Country Lodge, Pretoria.
  • Dawes, A., Wright, G. and Rama, S. (2006). The Provincial Indices of Multiple Deprivation for Children. Presented to the Joint University of Oxford and HSRC Conference on Indices of Multiple Deprivation and their Policy Relevance, Cape Town, 11 October.
  • Rama, S. and Richter, L. M (2005). Children’s household work as a contribution to the well-being of the family and household, Annual Conference of the International Association for Time Use Research, Halifax, Canada, 2-4 November.
  • Rama, S., (2005). Gendered analysis of patterns of time use and mobility in rural households of South Africa, Annual Conference of the International Association for Time Use Research, Halifax, Canada, 2-4 November.
  • Potgieter, C-A, Rama, S, and Pillay, R (2005). Transport and gender relations in rural Eastern Cape, South Africa. Paper presented (by Potgieter, C-A) at the Human Sciences Research Council Winter Conference, 27-28 July 2005. Session F – Gender and racial inequality. 
  • Rama, S and Richter, LM (2004). Children’s household work as a contribution to the well-being of the family and household. Presented at the 5th Joint Population Conference, 2004. 4-8 October 2004. Durban, South Africa.
  • Rama, S and Makiwane, M (2004). Research study on the social relief of distress programme. Presented at the Department of Social Development and National Treasury. Pretoria, South Africa.
  • Rama, S and Bah, SM (2000). Monitoring child rights in a society in transition: The opportunities afforded by a transformed statistical agency and the culture of child rights activism. Paper presented at the Conference of the International Association for Official Statistics (IAOS) on “Statistics, Development and Human Rights. Montreux, Switzerland, 4-8 September 2000.
  • Rama, S (2000) Monitoring the Implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child. Paper presented at the National Department of Welfare Workshop on the “Convention on the Rights of the Child/ African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child and the 1990 World Summit Goals”. Pretoria, South Africa, 16-17 August 2000.
  • Rama, S (2000). Children’s Statistical Newsletter. Presentation at National Committee on Child Abuse and Neglect. 15 February 2000. Pretoria, South Africa.
  • Rama, S (2000). Concrete Steps towards Monitoring the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Paper presented at seminar on “Overcoming Women’s Poverty- There is hope”, Pretoria, South Africa.
  • Rama, S (1999). Reporting on Infant and Child Death in South Africa. Paper presented at the meeting on “Child and Maternal Health Protection Meeting”, 27 September 2001.
  • Rama, S (1999). The Influence of Transport on the Life Chances and Experiences of School Goers: A Case Study of the Pietermaritzburg District. Paper presented at the National Department of Transport Eastern Seaboard Meeting, 14 April 1999. Durban.
  • Rama, S., Naidoo, E., Shikumo, E., Asiimwe, S., Mothobi, I., Ramseook, Y., Boyce, G., Richter, L., and Bhana, A. (2007). The identification of data systems on orphan and vulnerable children. Research report commissioned by the Department of Social Development. South Africa: Human Sciences Research Council. 25 November 2007.
  • Streak, J., Dawes, A., Ewing, D., Levine, S., and Rama, S (2007).  Nature and causes and impact of child work and labour in agriculture in South Africa:  A study of  three purposively selected sites. Final Report submitted to the Towards the Elimination of Child Labour Program (TECL) of the International Labour Organisation. Cape Town, South Africa: Human Sciences Research Council.
  • Richter, L. and Rama, S. (2006). Desk and stakeholder review: Children affected by HIV/AIDS. Commissioned by Save the Children, Sweden.
  • Richter, L., Mbonambi, M., Boyce, G. and Rama, S. (2005). Mid-Term Review: The Regional Psychosocial Support Initiative. Durban: Human Sciences Research Council.
  • Amoateng, A.Y., Richter, L.M., Makiwane, M. and Rama, S. (2004).  Describing the structure and needs of families in South Africa:  Towards the development of a national policy framework for families.  Report commissioned by the Dept of Social Development.  Pretoria: Child, Youth and Family Development, Human Sciences Research Council.
  • Makiwane, M and Rama, S (2004). Research Study on the Social Relief of Distress. Report prepared for the National Department of Social Development.
  • Dawes, A., Kvalsvig, J., Rama, S. and Richter, L. (2004). Indicators of South African Children’s Psychosocial Development in the Early Childhood Period: Phase 1 Report for UNICEF South Africa.
  • Dawes, A. Bray, R., Kvalsvig, J. Kafaar, Z. Rama, S. and Richter, L. (2004). Indicators of South African children’s psychosocial development in the early childhood period: Phase 3 Report for UNICEF South Africa.
Student

Supervision

  • 2017   Thereso Octavia Thembi Mathonsi “The Relevance of Urban Place, Space and Locality in the Everyday Lives and Activities of Young People”
  • 2016   Emmanuel J. Chikwelu: “The Proverbial Oppression of Women in Igbo African Culture: A content analysis of the semantics of female devaluation in Igbo proverbs”
  • 2015   Jacinta W Munene:  “Mature age students and higher education”
  • 2014   Nosipho Brightness Gwala: “Degree choices of undergraduate students in the College   of Humanities”
  • 2013   Mphatso Moses Kaufulu: “Therapy Seeking Trends of Postgraduate Students at the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Pietermaritzburg campus”
  • 2010   Nosipho Nompilo Gwala: “An exploration of mobility and the socially mediated  dimensions of private ‘car sharing schemes’ among students at the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Pietermaritzburg campus”
  • 2019 Sindiswa Ndamane MASTERS by Research (Sociology) “Students’ Insight and Understanding of the Notion ‘Decolonisation of the Curriculum in Higher Education’ At the University Of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg”.
  • 2018 Dominic Dummene Lele: MASTERS by Research (Sociology) “The Rise of Environmental Social Movements: A Case Study of the Mobilization against the proposed Hydraulic Fracturing in the Midlands, KwaZulu-Natal”.
  • 2017 Lungani Justice Mthethwa: MASTERS by Research (Sociology) “The experiences and challenges of adapting to an inclusive education learning environment: A study of students with disabilities at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Howard College campus”
  • 2017 Sihle P Lamula: MASTERS by Research (Sociology) “Students’ Understanding, Perceptions and Experience of Plagiarism: A Case Study of The University of Kwazulu-Natal Pietermaritzburg Campus.”
  • 2015 Vuyo Nomzamo Gama: MASTERS by Research (Sociology) “PostGraduate Students’ Conceptions and Perceptions of Mathematics-A Study of Social Science Students at the Pietermaritzburg Campus, University of KwaZulu-Natal”
  • 2014 Lulu Knightingale Mmakola: MASTERS by Research (Sociology) “Transport, Gender and Agricultural Development: A case study of the Capricorn District in Limpopo South Africa”
  • 2018 Sikanyiso Masuku (Conflict Transformation and Peace Studies) “The implementation of the Refugee Act 130 of 1998 in South Africa and the question of the social exclusion of forced migrants; A case Study of DRC forced refugees”

Community Involvement

  • 2016-2018 Young People’s Lived Realities and Constructions of Urban Space, Place and Locality”. Recipient of the National Research Foundation Thuthuka Grant, Post- PhD track, University of KwaZulu-Natal.
  • 2016  “Undergraduate’s Learning and Teaching Experiences and Environments: A Case Study of First-Year Sociology Students at the University of KwaZulu- Natal’s Pietermaritzburg Campus”. Recipient of the UKZN Teaching and Learning Competitive Grant, University of KwaZulu-Natal
  • 2006-2007Identification of data systems on orphan and vulnerable children”.  USAID and Department of Social Development for the project via Human Sciences Research          Council
  • 2003 UNICEF funding to develop the OVC RAAAP report for South Africa via Human    Sciences Research Council.

  • 2018 Spatial Humanities with Professors M Naidu and E Khalema as PIs. Mellon Grant
  • 2018 UCDP Blended Learning Project with Professor Ruth Hoskins as PI – Working on the Honours Research methods modules. It is a joint venture with the School of Education.
  • 2018 UCDP CHUM Project with Professor Ruth Hoskins as PI
  • 2016 Critical reflections on the conceptions, experiences and the practices of teaching and learning research methods in the Social Sciences” Project Leader: Professor Ruth Hoskins