Department of Sociology

Prof ME Rabe

College of Human Sciences
School of Social Sciences
Department: Sociology
Tel: 012 429 6698


  • D Litt et Phil (UNISA)

NRF Rating



Rabe, M.; Swart, I. & De Beer, S. 2018 (in press). ‘Hope for a better future: Young people’s (im)mobility in Pretoria Central, South Africa’ in Youth, inequality and social change in the global South, edited by Cuervo, H & Miranda, A. Springer.

Rabe, M. 2018. ‘An historical overview of fatherhood in South Africa’ in State of South African Fathers’ report, edited by Van den Berg, W. & Makusha, T., Sonke Gender Justice and Human Sciences Research Council, 13-26, electronic link:

Rabe, M. 2017. ‘Care, family policy and social citizenship in South Africa’ Journal of Comparative Family Studies 48(3): 327-338.

Rabe, M. 2017. ‘Family policy for all South African families’ International Social Work 60(5): 1189-1200; electronic link:

Rabe, M. 2016. ‘Revisiting the gendered discourse on parenting in South Africa’ in Children in South African Families: Lives and Times, edited by Makiwane, M & Nduna, M. & Khalema, N.E., Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 116-138.  

Rabe, M. 2016. ‘Families in South Africa’, in The Wiley Blackwell Encyclopedia of Family Studies, edited by Shehan, C., Wiley Blackwell Publishers, 1831-1835.

Rabe, M. 2014.  ‘Gender’ in Sociology: A South African Introduction, edited by Stewart, P. & Zaaiman, J., Juta Publishers, 151-171 (2nd edition to be published in 2017).

Rabe, M. 2014. ‘Family and households’ in Sociology: A South African Introduction, edited by Stewart, P. & Zaaiman, J., Juta Publishers, 221-245 (2nd edition to be published in 2017).

Rabe, M. 2006. ‘Being a father in a man’s world: The experiences of goldmine workers’, in Baba? Fathers and fatherhood in South Africa, edited by Richter, L. & Morrell, R. Human Science Research Council Press, 250-264, electronic link:

Rabe, M. 2006. ‘Black workers, fatherhood and South Africa’s gold mines’, in Globalisation and new identities: a View from the Middle, edited by Alexander, P; Dawson, M & Icharam, M. Jacana Press, 67-86.

Journal articles

Rabe, M. 2018. ‘A care deficit? The roles of families and faith-based organisations in the lives of youth at the margins in Pretoria Central’ HTS Theological Studies 74(3), electronic link:

Agboola, C. & Rabe, M. 2018. ‘Intersectionality and crime: Reflections from female ex-inmates in South Africa’ Acta Criminologica 31(1):1-18.

Rabe, M. 2017. ‘Care, family policy and social citizenship in South Africa’ Journal of Comparative Family Studies 48(3): 327-338.

Rabe, M. 2017. ‘Family policy for all South African families’ International Social Work 60(5): 1189-1200; electronic link:

Rabe, M. 2015. ‘Successful ageing amongst elderly women living independently in Pretoria central areas’ African Sociological Review, 19(2): 149-166.

Linonge-Fontebo, H.N. & Rabe, M. 2015. ‘Mothers in Cameroonian prisons – Pregnancy, childbearing and caring for young children’ African Studies, 74(3): 290-309.

Rabe, M. & Rugunanan, P. 2012 ‘Exploring race and gender amongst female sociologists exiting academia in South Africa’ Gender and Education, 24(5): 553-566, electronic link:

Rabe, M. & Lombaard, C. 2011. ‘“Give us this day our daily bread” – clergy’s lived religion in Pretoria central areas’ Acta Theologica 31(2): 241-263, electronic link:

Rabe, M. & Rugunanan, P. 2011. ‘Is there life after sociology? Exploring the career paths of former South African academics in Sociology’ South African Review of Sociology 42(3): 59-77, electronic link:

Rabe, M. 2008. ‘Can the ‘African household’ be presented meaningfully in large-scale surveys?’ African Sociological Review 12(2): 167-181, electronic link:

Rabe, M. 2007. ‘My children, your children, our children? Fathers, female partners and household structures’ South African Review of Sociology 38(2): 161-175, electronic link:

Lombaard, C. & Rabe, M. 2005. ‘Die oudste boodskap via die nuutste massamedium: evaluering van ‘n e-pos dagstukkiediens’ Verbum et Ecclesia 26(2): 412-431, electronic link:

Rabe, M. 2003. ‘Are you out when you are not in? Revisiting ‘insiders’ and ‘outsiders’ as social researchers’ African Sociological Review 7(2): 149-161, electronic link:

Rabe, M. 2001. ‘Commuter couples: An inside story’ Society in Transition 32(2): 247-264, electronic link:

Rabe, M. 1998. ‘Addressing education at the pre-primary level’ Vista Occasional Papers 6(1): 33-39.

Professional positions, fellowships & awards

  • From 1996: Member of the South African Sociological Association (SASA)
  • SASA Vice-President 2011-2012;
  • SASA treasurer 2004-2005;
  • Council member 2003-2004, 2012-2013;
  • Convenor of Family working group 2000-2002, 2011-2014;
  • Local Organising Coordinator of the SASA Congress held at UNISA, 2013;
  • From 2009: Member of the International Sociological Association (ISA).
  • From 2002: Member of the Committee on Family Research (CFR, ISA research group).
  • Local Organising Coordinator of the 2017 CFR conference held at UNISA, 2017.
  • 2009-2012: Editorial Board member, South African Review of Sociology.
  • 2012-2016: Member of Editorial Collective, South African Review of Sociology (convenor in 2013 and 2015).
  • 2013-2014: Editorial Board member, Gender Questions (first issue published in 2013).
  • 2015-2017: Co-editor, Gender Questions (convenor in 2015).


2013 – 2016: Co-researcher in National Research Foundation grant for ‘Science and Technology Research Cooperation between South Africa and Finland’, titled:

Youth at the margins: a comparative study of the contribution of faith-based organisations to social cohesion in South Africa and Nordic Europe. (principal South African grantholder: Prof Ignatius Swart, University of the Western Cape).



Postgraduate supervision:

Doctoral students (UNISA)

Kumswa, S.K. Going the distance: a description of commuter couples in Jos, Nigeria. Completed, graduated 09/2018

Mathe, L.R. Narratives of the construction of academic identities within the Lesotho higher education milieu. Completed, graduated 05/2018

Agboola, C.A. A qualitative analysis of gender and criminality in South Africa Completed, graduated 04/2015

Fontebo, H.N. Prison conditions in Cameroon: The narratives of female inmates Completed, graduated 09/2013

Kabamba, T.L. Resilience amongst families of orphans and vulnerable children affected by HIV in South Africa (On-going)

Marondo, J. A study of the impact of socio–cultural factors on Adolescent ART adherence in Zimbabwe Ongoing, co-supervision

Odit, J. Social support and protection systems among the aged in Uganda (On-going)

Muchabaiwa, W. The dynamics and politics of the small house family structure as a context for child socialisaton and development, Harare (On-going)

Mudzingwa, M. A study on the welfare of elderly women in Chivi District in Masvingo-Zimbabwe (On-going)

Ntuli, S. An investigation into the experiences of female ex-prisoners in Matsulu and KaNyamazane townships, Nelspruit (On-going)

Doctoral student (Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam) Smuts, L. Getting it ‘straight’: The Construction of (Hetero)sexual Identities among Young Men and Women in Johannesburg, South Africa Ongoing, co-supervision

MA-students: research dissertations (UNISA)

Chisale, S.S. Patriarchy and Resistance: A Feminist Symbolic Interactionist Perspective of Highly Educated Married Black Women. Completed, graduated cum laude, 04/2018

Lobaka, S.T. Exploring the experiences of young adult women growing up with non-resident fathers in North West - Tlokwe Local Municipality. Completed, graduated 03/2018

Van de Vyver, H.M. The role of spirituality in family wellbeing Completed, co-supervision; Completed, graduated cum laude 09/2010

Chimanzi, L. Masculinity construction: Grade 7 boys’ relations with girls at a township primary school in Gauteng East. Completed, graduated 09/2016

MA-students: dissertations of limited scope (UNISA) Kabamba, T.L. The psychosocial challenges facing AIDS counsellors at selected community-based voluntary counselling and testing sites in Tshwane. Completed, graduated 04/2010

Woldeyohannes, M.J. The roles and challenges of household care giving in child headed households affected by HIV/AIDS: the case of 10 households in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Completed, graduated 04/2010

Lalla-Edward, S. Health and HIV risk assessment of men who have sex with men (MSM) in the Johannesburg inner city. Completed, graduated cum laude, 09/2010

Mamosadi, T. An exploration of social support for people living with HIV at the Central Prison. Completed, graduated 04/2011

Mabusela, K. An investigation of the coping mechanisms of health care workers providing home-based care for people living with HIV in Mamelodi, South Africa. Completed, graduated 05/2011

Mugivhi, R. Problems experienced by mothers who opted for replacement feeding in a prevention of motherto-child transmission programme in Mikado Municipality, Limpopo Province, South Africa. Completed, graduated 09/2011