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Home » Dr Liela Groenewald

Senior Research Associate
Name: Liela Groenewald
Location: C Ring 6 Auckland Park Kingsway Campus
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Contact Details:
Tel: 082 451 1015


About Dr Liela Groenewald


Liela Groenewald is a Senior Research Associate of the UJ Department of Sociology, where she was formerly Senior Lecturer, convenor of the UJ Sociology, Anthropology and Development Studies Wednesday Seminar, and convenor of the department’s Masters Programme. Her doctorate, on public management, municipalities and informal settlement, was conferred in 2013. She supervises masters and doctoral students in Political and Industrial Sociology, Social Impact Assessment, and Urban Studies; and lecture in the fields of Corporate Social Responsibility, Environmental Stewardship, Research, Writing, and Business Studies.


D Litt et Phil in Sociology, University of Johannesburg, 2013
MA Sociology (cum laude), RAU, 2004 (top graduate)
B Hons Journalism, Stellenbosch University
BA (Social Science), University of Pretoria

Research interests

Political Sociology, with a focus on
* the post-apartheid South African state; and
* identity, including race, class, gender, and sexuality.
Urban Sociology, focused on informal settlement and local government.
Sociology of the Media, with a focus on the South African news media and music.

Teaching experience

Urban Sociology;
Research Methodology;
Sociological theory;
Power, the State, and the Workplace;
Class, Race and Gender;
Conflict Studies;
Family Sociology;
Corporate Social Responsibility;
Writing; and
English for academic purposes.

Academic citizenship

Ad Hoc peer review for Development Southern Africa, Litnet Academic, Town and Regional Planning, Social Dynamics, and
the South African Review of Sociology.
Ad Hoc external examination for the universities of KwaZulu-Natal and Stellenbosch.
Ad Hoc Pro Bono supervision or guidance to postgraduate students in Education, Media and Film Studies.
Convenor: UJ Sociology, Anthropology and Development Studies Wednesday Seminar, 2009 to 2014.
Aids peer educator, University of Johannesburg, 2008 to 2009.
Member of the Higher Education Underfunding working group, Higher Education Crisis Committee (HECC), Johannesburg, 2008.
Member of the International Sociological Association, 2006 to present.
Member of the Sociological Association of South Africa, 2005 to present.
A variety of volunteer work for the South African Sociological Association:

  • Convenor: Urban Sociology working group (elected), South African Sociological Association, 2007 to present
  • Membership officer (appointed), South African Sociological Association, 2008 to present
  • List manager (appointed), South African Sociological Association, about 2012 to present
  • Council member, South African Sociological Association, 2006 to 2016
  • Web editor (appointed), South African Sociological Association, 2008 to 2016
  • Secretary (elected), South African Sociological Association, 2014 to 2015
  • Treasurer (elected), South African Sociological Association, 2006 to 2008
  • SASA Virtual Office administration (appointed by department), 2006 to 2015
Recent papers and publications

Groenewald, L. 2017. ‘Lip Service: How Voices from Informal Settlements were Silenced during the First Decade of Local Democracy in South Africa’. Paper presented at the conference, ‘Refractions of the National, the Popular, and the Global in African Cities’, Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study (Stias), 31 July – 1 August.

Groenewald, L. 2015. ‘Understanding Informality: Conceptual Lessons from Informal Settlement in Southern Africa’. In Mica, Adriana, Winczorek, Jan and Wisniewski, Rafal (editors). Sociologies of Formality and Informality. Frankfurt: Peter Lang.

Groenewald, L, M Huchzermeyer, K Kornienko, M Tredoux, M Rubin and I Raposo. 2013. ‘Breaking Down the Binary: Meanings of Informal Settlement in Southern African Cities’. In Bekker, Simon and Fourchard, Laurent (editors). Exploring Urban Africa: Comparative History and Politics. Pretoria: HSRC Press.

Groenewald, L. 2012. ‘Urban debates in South African settings: Implications for citizenship’. In Uys, Tina and Patel, Sujata (editors). Exclusion, Social Capital and Citizenship: Contested Transitions in South Africa and India. New Delhi: Orient Blackswan.

Groenewald, L. 2011. ‘Progress toward Millennium Development Goals? Strategies for Housing and Informal Settlement in Gauteng, South Africa’. Development Southern Africa 28(5): 641-652.

Groenewald, L. 2008. ‘Race and gender: From double burden to acute advantage’. Sociological Bulletin 57(3): 371-387.