Institute for Social and Health Sciences (ISHS)

The ISHS finds expression for its vision, mission, values and objectives through three programmes. They are the Violence, Injury and Peace Promotion Research Unit (VIPRU), Research Unit on Men and Masculinity (RUMM) and the Transdisciplinary African Psychologies Programme (TAP).

A flagship of the College of Graduate Studies, the Africa-centred Institute derives its mandate from:

  • The university’s vision, “Towards the African university shaping futures in service of humanity”
  • Its accreditation as a Safe Communities Certifying Centre
  • Its co-directorship of the Violence, Injury and Peace Research Unit (VIPRU), formerly known as the Presidential Crime, Violence and Injury Lead Programme.

These synergistically linked mandates offer the Institute specific and well-established, strategic platforms for research, community service and postgraduate training in the social and health sciences. Recognised as a regional resource and international expert in specific niche areas, the Institute is well placed to function as a strategic and flagship initiative of Unisa’s College of Graduate Studies, focused on growing Africa-oriented research, expertise and community development.

Violence, Injury and Peace Research Unit (VIPRU)

Masculinity, Tradition and Social Change Programme

The VIPRU, formerly known as the Crime, Violence and Injury Lead Programme (CVI), was formalised in 2001 as a partnership between UNISA and the Medical Research Council (MRC). The CVI incorporated the MRC’s former Trauma Unit’s surveillance and epidemiological research activities and the Institute’s community-focused prevention and critical theoretical work. The programme aims to undertake research and intervention projects into masculinities in relation to tradition as they get constructed, structured, challenged, changed and in their interpenetration with racial, economic, sexual and intellectual structures and discourses within the context of a changing world. Projects undertaken within the Masculinity, Tradition & Social Change Programme are attentive to the power of location and perspective in a changing