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Masters Degrees (Centre for Communication, Media and Society)

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    An examination of how Sowetan Live and Daily Sun reported on Operation Dudula and foreign nationals: January to June 2022.
    (2023) Xulu, Luyanda Randy.; Dyll, Lauren Eva.
    Abstract available in PDF.
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    The challenges and benefits of documenting Bakoni tangible heritage and perceptions thereof using Photovoice.
    (2024) Mbili, Qiniso.; Dyll, Lauren Eva.; Lange, Mary Elizabeth.
    This thesis explores the existing official and scholarly interpretations of the Bakoni heritage stonewall settlement sites in Mpumalanga, Mashishing. It also studies the contemporary narratives that exist within the Mashishing local and Indigenous communities concerning Bakoni heritage. This study simultaneously explores the benefits and challenges of using Photovoice as a method of documenting heritage and in particular intangible heritage. This research is conducted using Participatory Action Research, which produces knowledge in a democratic manner while pursuing development objectives. It highlights the knowledge produced by local and Indigenous community members with the aim of valorising their narratives and opinions regarding the Bakoni heritage and Photovoice methodology. The participants’ narratives are explored and studied in relation to already existing scholarly and official interpretations of the Bakoni heritage. Their opinions of the Photovoice methodology are explored with the intention to contribute towards the understanding of Photovoice as a data collection tool. This thesis produces visual depictions of the Bakoni stonewalls as photographed by the participants to document and store the Bakoni heritage. This approach is mobilised to include Bakoni knowledge produced by local and Indigenous communities in the public domain.
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    Regional newspapers and their diverse readers: a case study of the South Coast Herald and its reception in rural, township and suburban areas.
    (2023) Mboyisa, Mlondolozi Cedric.; McCracken, Donal Patrick.
    Employing the Stuart Hall Encoding/Decoding Communication Model as a theoretical framework, the qualitative study looked into the phenomenon of regional (community) newspapers and their diverse readers, using the South Coast Herald newspaper as a case study to establish its reception in rural, township and rural areas. Furthermore, the inquiry sought to determine the approach of the newspaper to news coverage or reportage to cater for its diverse readership. The almost century old regional newspaper is located on the South Coast of KwaZulu-Natal. Areas which were the focal point of the inquiry were the rural village of Murchison, the township of Gamalakhe and the suburb of Margate. All study participants are regular readers of the newspaper. Initially, the technique for collection of data was through focus groups, with respondents selected purposively. However, due to the devastating Covid-19 pandemic and strict concomitant lockdown, the researcher had to resort to dispatching the mainly open-ended two questionnaires to both readers and editor of the South Coast Herald via e-mail. Similarly, the responses from respondents/participants were received by e-mail. The original research design envisaged that a total of 30 participants would be drawn from these three identified communities in an equitable manner of 10 from each selected place. In the end, however, the inquiry received 25 out of 30 responses. In other words, a response rate of 83.3%. There was a 100% (10/10) response rate from Gamalakhe while Margate stood at 90% (9/10) and six out of 10 (60%) of Murchison’s participants returned responses. One of the main findings shows that the overwhelming majority (67.78%) of participants feel that the South Coast Herald is blatantly biased in favour of the white readers, and to an extent, towards the Indian readership as well. Furthermore, while the newspaper insists its approach to news is premised on the concept of hyper-local news, another finding reveals that respondents aver that the South Coast Herald lacks diverse content. The majority of the participants feel that the newspaper is systematically focusing on suburban news while neglecting stories or content from rural and township areas. The inquiry proffers reflections which hopefully might serve as a catalyst to address the newspaper’s identified challenges. Furthermore, these proposals could be useful in eliminating factors which could be construed as being currently inimical to ensuring the South Coast Herald becomes a truly transformed newspaper.
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    Exploring the reception of global health campaigns at a local level: a study of the WHO #SafeHands handwashing social media campaign for the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on Twitter.
    (2024) Haffenden, Sarah.; Gibson, Sarah Elizabeth.
    This study explores the efficacy of the universal WHO #Safehands Handwashing campaign at a localised level, specifically for students at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) in South Africa. It is essential to develop a greater understanding of the reception and effectiveness of global health campaigns in the context where they are received to improve future campaigns' success. This study also explores participatory platforms for health communication, such as social media platforms, to determine if they have a more significant impact on behaviour change. This study is helpful in assessing whether these platforms should be used more often in the future to achieve a greater impact on health communication campaigns. A further objective of this study is to better understand the affordances and limitations of health communication campaigns on Twitter (now X), as Twitter was the main platform utilised to distribute the WHO #SafeHands Handwashing campaign. This study is beneficial in guiding future campaigns that plan to utilise Twitter as an example of social media to disseminate health communication campaigns, particularly pandemic campaigns, as more effective campaigns can save lives. Within the study, a qualitative research approach was performed in the form of online focus groups conducted via Zoom. The sample included registered UKZN students based in KwaZulu-Natal who were either in a rural or urban area during the initial COVID-19 lockdown period. The data analysis technique performed was the six-phase reflexive thematic analysis process to identify emerging themes and differentiate the three potential readings of the campaign from Stuart Hall’s Reception Analysis. Reception Analysis and Participatory Culture were the theoretical guides for this study. The reception of the campaign was positive overall, and participants felt better equipped to wash their hands effectively after seeing the campaign. The challenge of recreating videos within the campaign, which encouraged participants to actively participate in the campaign, however, was not received as positively. This is largely due to inadequate living conditions, whereby some participants did not have the same facilities or basic amenities,such asrunning water. The study discovered that vast contrasts in the living conditions of some of the local 4 participants had impacted the effectiveness of the WHO #Safehands Handwashing campaign for these participants. The impact of this research highlights the need for global health authorities to work closely with local health authorities to ensure that unique regional circumstances and cultural differences are considered when designing campaigns. For global health campaigns to be more impactful and relatable, they may need to be adapted within different regions. By taking this into consideration, global campaigns may be more successful and ultimately save lives.
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    News reporting on the experiences of university students in South Africa during the COVID-19 pandemic. a content analysis of News24 and TimesLive.
    (2023) Nxumalo, Zanele Zuzu Eugenia.; Dyll, Lauren Eva.
    This research was necessitated by the surge of the coronavirus pandemic that hit the globe in March 2020. Global media, including in South Africa, took on the role of informing and educating citizens on the virus from its discovery to continuous updates on the changing patterns. News media houses have been critiqued for a lack of adequate reporting on profound experiences of university students due to the lockdown (Landa, Zhou & Marongwe, 2020). Stiegler and Bouchard (2020) acknowledge that the response by South Africa towards the pandemic seemed organised and kept the population calm. However, they further elaborate that there might be some underlying experiences that were not adequately captured, robbing the country and the global village of an opportunity to learn about the significant effects of national lockdown. This study is located within cultural and media studies to explore the experiences of university students in South Africa during the COVID- 19 induced national lockdown. News articles from two South-African based online publications News24 and TimesLive published during lockdown level five to three (5 March to 30 April 2020) to (1 May 1 to 30 May 2020) and level three of the second wave (29 December 2020 to 1 March 2021) are studied. The study employs a qualitative research approach using the qualitative content analysis and the discursive approach by Bednarek & Caple (2014). The themes were interpreted using two principal theories namely Harcup and O’Neill’s (2001: 2017) news values approach and Bednarek & Caple (2014) framework for the analysis of news discourse. The themes which were dominant from this research are inequalities, digital migration, virtual graduation for students, mental health of students, staying at home, national level 3 lockdown – saving the calendar. The majority of news values that appeared to define the reporting include surprise, good news, magnitude, relevance and follow-ups. The discourses that revealed the news values include digital migration (news value: relevance) and mental health of students (news value: bad news). The discourse analysis has revealed that the majority of news values were construed through themes from stories/articles that were written during the first wave of the pandemic. These include surprise, good news, magnitude, relevance and follow-ups. During the second wave of the pandemic only one news value on bad news was construed according to my research.
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    Understanding women’s perceptions of the acceptability of vaginal health product use: towards inclusion of women in HIV prevention research.
    (2022) Ngubane, Nqobile Simthandile Lungelo.
    HIV/AIDS has been a global pandemic for the past decades. Major global health organisations have made great efforts to eradicate the negative consequences of the pandemic, especially in the most negatively affected parts of the globe, such as sub-Saharan Africa. There have been numerous significant successful attempts to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS in these parts of the world. However, a specific population segment remains at a high risk of infection and continues to experience a rise in new cases of infection. This population is particularly women, specifically in South Africa. KwaZulu Natal, a province in South Africa, records the highest number of HIV-positive individuals, placing women at even higher risk in this region. Research further suggests that biological factors increase the risk of HIV infection in women. This study sought to understand women's perceptions of the acceptability of vaginal health product use. A total of five half-day workshops were conducted utilising participatory methodologies to gain insight into women's perception of the acceptability of vaginal health product use. Participatory methods such as journey mapping, reflexive journaling, and focus group discussions were adopted during the study to encourage the active engagement of the research participants. A purposeful sampling method was used to understand the women's perceptions better. The culture-centred approach was employed within this research to understand the topic better. The study benefited from the participation of 40 women who were interviewed. The main research findings showed that women in KZN use various vaginal products, mostly for male sexual pleasure and hygiene. These included various products, such as homemade concoctions and traditional herbs. The results showed that the women's application preferences varied, with some choosing to use ingestible vaginal products while others preferred the directly applied products. The women's perceptions of the acceptability of using vaginal products were mainly influenced by male sexual pleasure over prioritising safe sex. This is a significant concern to health organisations and communities as women remain at the infection centre. Prioritising male sexual pleasure over protection against HIV is one of the driving factors to the spread of HIV within these communities. It serves as a deterrence to health interventions put into place to fight the spread of HIV in women, such as microbicides.
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    A case study on Brothers for Life campaign: demand creation for oral PrEP among AGYW through exploring the perceptions and acceptability of males on the implementation of Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) in Vulindlela, KwaZulu-Natal.
    (2021) Ndlovu, Lungelo.; Govender, Eliza Melissa.
    HIV prevalence in South Africa remains high among Adolescent girls and young women particularly in male counterparts in rural KwaZulu-Natal. Perpetuation of HIV in rural KZN is due to multiple factors including cultural beliefs, practices, and values. Nevertheless, the introduction of Pre– exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) for HIV prevention has presented an opportunity not only for a decline in general HIV mortality but also a prevention method that is female - centred already existing HIV prevention methods. Previous case studies have demonstrated the efficacy of Oral PrEP, but it remains ineffective for AGYW because much of it relied on the negotiation with partners. Therefore, this study set out to explore male involvement in Oral PrEP mobilization by understanding the perceptions and support of men in heterosexual relationship and fathers of AGYW in Vulindlela. Using the Social Cognitive Theory (SCT) within the Social Ecological Model, this study explored the relevance of a B4L poster approach with two specific groupings of males, firstly those who are in heterosexual relationships aged 24- 35 years and secondly male parents (also referred to as fathers in this study) who are aged 35 - 49 years in Vulindlela, South Africa. This study employed the qualitative approach, using focus groups and action media to gain an understanding of males’ perceptions and support of Oral PrEP uptake among young women. Findings reveal that even though Oral PrEP is a female centered prevention method and previous interventions were implemented to encourage women, male involvement is important. The support of male partners and fathers to daughters has the potential to promote acceptance of Oral PrEP. However, trust in heterosexual relationships remains an issue for acceptance of Oral PrEP among young women and fathers believe that promoting Oral PrEP to their daughters is encouraging promiscuous behaviour. Also, encouraging male partners to take Oral PrEP may assist in preventing female partners from contracting HIV because they are in multiple intimate relationships. Findings also presented that a poster can be an effective medium of communication if factors such as language, posters are displayed in relevant spaces to reach a wider audience, role modelling and poster is attractive. Key Words: Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis, Human Immunodeficiency Virus, Brothers’ for Life, Adolescent Girls and Young Women, Male involvement, Participatory Action Research.
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    The multi-level nature and extent of secondary victimization among adult, female rape victims at the RK Khan Thutuzela Care Center.
    (2022) Amarchund, Trianne.; Teer-Tomaselli, Ruth Elizabeth.
    Rape is a traumatic and life-threatening experience, and one that cannot be easily forgotten by the survivor. It leaves the rape survivor full of fear, doubt, and anger. The resulting fear and anger also ripple through to family members, friends, and the community. Women's and girls' mental and physical health have been shown to be negatively impacted by gender-based violence, which is widely acknowledged around the world. This research study aimed to encapsulate the nature and extent of secondary victimization amongst adult, female rape victims at the RK Khan Thutuzela Care centre, and their respective social systems using Bronfenbrenner’s Systems theory as a basis. A qualitative methodological approach was applied, and data was collected in a descriptive manner through semi-structured question-interviews. The study found that the participants' knowledge and comprehension of the concept of secondary victimization were limited. The data also demonstrated that while there were a variety of impacts felt by all participants, all the participant’s do experience secondary victimization and its effects, on various levels over a prolonged period of time. There is currently no structure or procedure in place to help victims cope with all these extended aftereffects so the researcher proposes the need for a multi-faceted approach toward rape victim empowerment.
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    A systematic literature study of sexual violence, hashtag feminism and the #MeToo movement on Twitter (15 October 2017-14 May 2021)
    (2021) Chetty, Kameni.; Teer-Tomaselli, Ruth Elizabeth.
    The date range included was 15 October 2017-14 May 2021. The rationale for the years included, represents the inception of the #MeToo on Twitter which emerged in 2017. Although the #MeToo movement gathered tremendous support on a global level, it has been critiqued by countless women for marginalizing out the sexual violence experienced by women of colour. (Ceron, 2018; Rodino Colocino, 2018;Willig, 2018). Tarana Burke criticized the #MeToo as a “white supremacist patriarchal movement” with a deep-rooted history which includes but also emerged well before Trump’s presidency (Colocino, 2018: 98). While the phenomena of the online movement encouraged women to begin Twitter conversations about deep rooted patriarchy and the need for a united and collective front to eliminate gendered violence. Literature has also emerged drawing attention to the way in which Twitter participants can broadly circulate offensive statements as well as “vitriolic online misogyny” (Rentschler and Thrift, 2015: 332). In the same way, Twitter is perceived as a free platform, online discrimination on Twitter has hindered specific social groups from reusing the platform as it has become too much of a toxic and dangerous space. (Clark, 2016: 789). Despite Mendes, Ringrose and Keller (2018) revealing the participatory nature of Twitter hashtags, it has been identified as a platform that also disrupts feminist discussions. Since the birth of Twitter, the medium has been closely connected to widespread online feminist activism through Twitter hashtags (Murthy, 2013; Zappavigna; 2012; Papacharissi, 2006; Weller, Bruns, Burgess, Mahrt, Puschmann, 2014). As a result, women have begun to use the Twitter hashtag as a tool to raise online consciousness to fight against deep rooted societal issues such as patriarchy and sexual violence. This dissertation employed a qualitative systematic literature review methodology to explore the topical issues revealed through surveying the literature on the #MeToo on the Twitter platform. The study was conducted in the form of a Systematic Literature Review methodology based on the guidelines suggested by Barbara Kitchenham (2004). The research data in this dissertation was drawn from the Google scholar search engine to retrieve academic literature pertinent to the research topic. By engaging in a qualitative mode of enquiry, a qualitative thematic analysis was employed to examine the latent and semantic themes in the 13 English-language published articles collected from the Google scholar search base. It is appropriate that a qualitative approach is used as “qualitative approaches are typically used to explore new phenomena and to capture individuals’ thoughts, feelings, or interpretations of meaning and process” (Given, 2008: xxix). Using a thematic analysis approach, 4 primary themes emerged: (1) The use of hashtag feminism on Twitter, (2) The marginalisation of women of colour (3) The causes of sexual violence, (4) The vitriol experienced by women employing #MeToo on the Twitter platform. This study offered some important insights into how Twitter has become a primary space for online users to collectively share their responses to events. This is indicative in the #MeToo trend on Twitter as it became one of the most efficacious tactics due to numerous women discussing the challenges underpinning gender inequity on a global level (Willig, 2019; Pain, 2019; Ghadery, 2019; Bisiada, 2021 and Ceron, 2018). Furthermore, this study has further demonstrated the way in which Twitter has rapidly increased the visibility of online feminist movements. Consequently, several studies have revealed (Crossley, 2015; Keller, 2012; Keller, Mendes, and Ringrose, 2016) that Twitter has developed into a platform to dismantle hegemonic power in support of a solidarity-building space for women. From the analysis of the data, it can also be stated that despite the emergence of Twitter as an online feminist space, dealing with trolls and naysayers on Twitter remains a constant challenge on Twitter. Thus, the findings are both complex and contradictory.
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    Exploring the role of social media within Covid-19 prevention and mis/information on Facebook: a case study of the South African level 5 lockdown.
    (2022) Ahmad, Aadila.; Govender, Eliza Melissa.
    The outbreak of COVID-19 has created a global health crisis with a deep impact on the way in which we communicate and confront public health emergencies. The inundated utilization of social media has unified the world in a global pandemic experience. Social media has become an integral part of our lives particularly during the COVID-19 public health emergency. While lockdown regulations, due to COVID-19 has limited human and physical interaction, social media has been at the forefront of accessible information yet at the same time a platform for increased misinformation and myths surrounding the impact and risks of the pandemic. This study seeks to explore the role of social media discourses around COVID-19 prevention and misinformation during the first three weeks of the level 5 lockdown in South Africa. This study purposively selected 3 posts from the National Department of Health (NDoH) Facebook page between the 27th of March 2020 to the 18th of April 2020 that relate to COVID-19 prevention messaging and the way the NDoH has addressed the circulation of misinformation and fake news. The study uses a qualitative content analysis to analyse how the NDoH has utilized their Facebook page in disseminating COVID-19 prevention messaging, the common topics of discussion related to COVID-19 prevention and misinformation and fake news awareness and how the NDoH engaged in COVID-19 related messaging and prevention communication. The study adopts the three new categories of the uses and gratification theory (UGT); content, process, and social gratification (Stafford, Stafford and Schkade, 2004) to understand how the public engaged in COVID-19 related messaging on the National Department of Health’s Facebook page. Key findings of the study found that the NDoH, as a leading health institution in South Africa has utilized their Facebook page to introduce and encourage discussions around COVID-19 prevention messaging and misinformation and fake news awareness. The themes demonstrated the ways in which the NDoH Facebook was used to encourage discussions around the factors that influence COVID-19 prevention messaging, effects of the lockdown and COVID-19 mis/information, through the comments between the Facebook users. By reviewing the comments and the themes derived from them, it is evident that the NDoH, in initiating these discussions, has succeeded in utilizing their Facebook page to encourage discussions around COVID-19 prevention messaging and misinformation and fake news awareness. The common topics of discussion aligned with the rationale of the study that included; the influence of COVID-19 preventative apparel and physical prevention methods on prevention messaging; the influence of traditional medicine, herbal remedies and religious interventions on prevention messaging and the influence of scientific interventions and western medicine on prevention messaging which formed the theme of the factors that influence COVID-19 prevention messaging, experiences and consequences of lockdown which formed the theme effects of lockdown; as well as, fake news, general and mis/information regarding COVID-19 and conspiracy theories which formed the theme COVID-19 mis/information. Using the likes and shares of the posts and comments indicated that NDoH Facebook did encourage audience engagement of the posts regarding prevention strategies and misinformation during the level 5 lockdown in South Africa.
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    Remembering the decolonial nation: the M.T. Steyn statue as a site of struggle.
    (2021) Pretorius, Johannes Jacobus.; Teer-Tomaselli, Ruth Elizabeth.
    The study tracks the meaning/s of the M.T. Steyn statue, that stood on the grounds of the University of the Free State main campus, through two contextual periods: against a fledgling Afrikaner nationalism at the time of the statue’s unveiling in 1929, and against the cries for transformation and decolonisation associated with the #RhodesMustFall movement that swept through South African campuses in 2015 and which eventually led to the relocation of the statue. This is done to understand how a cultural artefact embodies different meanings over a range of social and historical contexts, which, when read against these contexts can express and illuminate them in new and insightful ways. In this way the meaning/s of the statue is explored as a key in developing an understanding of how ‘heritage’ was and is constructed in the different periods in question. The research utilised theories of representation (Hall, 1997) combined with the notion of articulation, as used by Stuart Hall (1996), that imagines discourse as made up of unities consisting of ‘articulated’ elements that are both ‘structured’ and spoken’ at the same time. This is used to describe ‘heritage’ as consisting of articulated notions of culture, identity and the past that transform over time and which, at different times, present different conceptualisation of the nation, who belongs, what culture is worth preserving, and what past constitute the past of the ‘nation’ i.e. that constitute the mirror in which a nation or a group can recognise itself. The study found that the statue of M.T. Steyn articulated an Afrikaner nationalist discourse, culturally expressed as a drive towards endogeneity and ‘ownness’, at the time of its unveiling in 1929, and the antithesis of what the #RhodesMustFall movement articulated as its own modus operandi in 2015, namely decoloniality. Furthermore, a relationship between what both these drives for cultural transformation embodied became evident when ‘reading’ the two periods together in an attempt to gain insight into a pre-dominant construction of heritage in contemporary South Africa. This ‘reading’ suggested that an opportunity to re-articulate the statue in a productive and affirmative way, that could resonate with a broader, outward looking, decolonial struggle many could identify with, got lost with its relocation. The contribution of the research to the study of ‘heritage’ in South Africa was using the theory of articulation to understand the landscape ‘holistically’, i.e., that included both a discursive and semiotic approach. Furthermore, by exploring the ‘meaning’ of a particular statue that had not been extensively researched in any academic text, hopefully provided new insight into the contemporary heritage landscape, embodied in a particular cultural artefact.
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    An examination of Media24’s staff retrenchment action of 2020 in light of structural adjustments within the news industry and Covid-19.
    (2021) Kanyile, Nomaswazi Ntuthuko Florie-ford.; Teer-Tomaselli, Ruth Elizabeth.
    This study, situated within a media focused political economic framework, compares and contrasts the dominant narratives of Media24’s 2020 retrenchments in light of structural adjustments and Daily Maverick’s 2020 expansion and the launch of its print title, DM168, within the context of the transforming news industry and the socio-economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. A qualitative approach was necessary and appropriate for this study, as the researcher was seeking to examine competing narratives (the dominant narrative of Media24’s staff retrenchment and Daily Maverick’s alternative narrative during the same time period), rather than any quantitative data or evidence. The data gathered for this desktop study consisted of texts published during the period 1 July 2020 to 31 October 2020, thus covering Media24’s title closures and retrenchments on 7 July, the launch of their digital subscription on 13 July, and Daily Maverick’s launch of DM168 on 26 September. These texts were selected by the researcher on the basis of their ability to address the research objective. The researcher therefore employed purposive sampling, a method frequently used in qualitative research to identify and select data-rich cases in order to make optimal use of limited resources. The researcher was conscious of the possibility of bias, and therefore aimed to collect all published information possible during the specified time period, only eliminating articles that were clear reproductions of Media24’s press releases, with no significant additional information. The findings were grouped into convergent narratives, diverging contrasting narratives, and unique narratives. Broadly convergent narratives were the long-standing financial crisis in the news industry, the theft of revenue by Google and Facebook, social media as being inherently bad for news, the necessity of new business models that generate revenue from readers, journalism as an institution and as a professional, skilled activity, and ambivalent conceptions of change.
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    Examining online and offline community perceptions of social media activism in Zimbabwe: a case of a Facebook campaign against ‘child sex work’ in Epworth, Zimbabwe.
    (2021) Nhongonhema, Francisca Nyaradzo.; Dyll, Lauren Eva.
    Zimbabwean activism is migrating from physical activism to new media platforms. Noting these changes, this research seeks to investigate the perceptions of the online audience as well as local offline communities on the use of social media as a platform for activism, using Doubt Chimonyo’s Facebook campaign against child sex work in the high-density community of Epworth (Zimbabwe). Social media activism scholarship tends to prioritise seminal case studies such as the Arab Spring, while leaving out relatively small-scale case studies that show contextualised social media practices at the local level. However, there are multiple factors that pose as challenges for the Zimbabwean populace to fully utilise social media. These include the digital divide and retrogressive laws stifling social media use. In the context of this study the extreme poverty in Epworth is attributed as a main driver of child sex work in the area. Scholars have noted that efforts by both government and NGOs to curb the practice are not producing desired results. Consequently, social media activism attempts to fill the gap as exemplified by the Facebook campaign under study. This study contributes to the understanding of the perception of social media activism within the complex specificities a high-density community within Zimbabwe. More specifically it presents findings on, 1.) the principles and practice that constitute someone as a social media activist, 2.) the ways in which Facebook, as a participatory platform, mediates activism in Epworth (Zimbabwe), and 3.) if/how social media activism resonates with online and offline communities, using Chimonyo’s campaign as a case study. These findings are analysed in relation to Henry Jenkins (2006) theory of participatory culture. Data was collected through interviews, focus group discussions, comments from the online audience in response to the videos presented on Facebook, and literature from key scholars. Two focus group discussions were conducted with a sample of Epworth community members in order to gain an understanding of their perception on the campaign against child sex work. A semi-structured interview was conducted with Doubt Chimonyo as the creator of the campaign against child sex work with the purpose of establishing the preferred reading of the campaign in order to draw comparisons with the Epworth and online responses. In comparison to other online campaigns discussed in this study, such as #Thisflag campaign (2016), #ZimbabweanLivesMatter (2020) this study concludes that political campaigns have more potential to create resonance offline unlike social campaigns such as the campaign against child sex work. Considering that the campaign set out to involve the Epworth adult community in finding solutions to curb child sex work in the area, the choice of an online platform is questionable as it effectively excluded the Epworth audience thereby rendering this particular campaign not successful.
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    Inviting xenophobia? An examination of Ilanga and Isolezwe’s coverage of the 2015 xenophobic attacks in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.
    (2021) Khwebulana, Cebisa.; Dyll, Lauren Eva.
    Post-apartheid South Africa has become a prime migration destination for many foreign nationals. Previous research examines the way in which foreigners are represented in the press, particularly in the context of xenophobic attacks, but mostly with English newspapers as the case studies. This study examines the representation of foreign nationals in isiZulu vernacular tabloids, Ilanga and Isolezwe during the 2015 xenophobic attacks in South Africa. This is significant, as Zulu people are the target audience of these two tabloids and they are a local community that were reported to be involved in instigating and carrying out xenophobic attacks in South Africa (Dube, 2018). A total of 34 Ilanga and Isolezwe articles, from 1 April to 31 July 2015, were selected and examined. Content analysis is used in this study to examine the language used by these tabloid newspaper articles to determine how foreigners were represented during these 2015 attacks. The news articles about Isilo (King Goodwill Zwelithini) abantu bokufika (foreigners), abokufika (foreigners), ukuhlaselwa kwabokufika (xenophobic attacks), ukucwaswa kwabokufika (xenophobia) were selected for this study. The resulting themes are interpreted through the lens of the theoretical framework of representation theory that assists in understanding how certain representations connect meaning and language to culture. The study’s findings show that negative and othering representations are present in within both Ilanga and Isolezwe. These publications highlight the difference between foreigners and South Africans. Foreigners are represented as illegal immigrants, criminals and rebels by both Isolezwe. Ilanga had only two negative stereotypes and they are foreigners as illegal immigrants and criminals. However, both publications included a positive theme, where foreigners are represented as desperate people who have no place to go. Then Ilanga represented foreigners as better business people compared to locals. Although there were not many positive themes about foreigners but this was a great start towards a balanced coverage. This is different from the previous research that focuses only on negative representations of foreigners.
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    Examining the evolving representation of female characters in Zimbabwean films: a case study of Neria (1993) and Sinners (2013)
    (2020) Pasipanodya, Isabel.; McCracken, Donal Patrick.
    The broad research question for this study was to investigate if the advocation for females’ equality globally has produced any positive results towards the upliftment of females from the restrictive political and social inferioties impacted on them by patriarchal societies in Zimbabwe. The thesis investigates the positive transition in the way females are portrayed in Zimbabwe between the 1993s and the 2013 period using a case study of two films Neria (1993) and Sinners (2013). The films where shot in different socio-economic contexts of Zimbabwe, but both films were based on true life events. In an attempt to map out the evolving representation of females in Zimbabwe, the thesis pays specific attention to how female lead actresses are represented in the two case studies selected. Drawing a comparative analysis of the manner in which female lead actresses are portrayed on screen between the different decades in which the films where produced. In order to achieve the goals of the study a qualitative method was applied. The research is centred within the Feminist Film Theory which proposes, critiques and acknowledges that females are represented as objects for male gratification. Who are naturally immoral, intellectually inferior to men, malicious and weak. The Feminist Film Theory is rooted within the ahistoricism thinking which is built upon semiotics, psychoanalysis and monolithic concepts of ideology defined as patriarchal and predicated upon rigid binary oppositions. Which evidently shows that females’ recognition and character is outlined in relation to that of males. The project’s data was collected mainly from watching the purposively selected scenes from the two case studies selected. A semiotic analysis was used to analyse the data as it explores and discovers the arrangement and use of content bringing out what it communicates (Ballaster, 1991:29). Together with the semiotic analysis, textual analysis was also applied to analyse the data. This is so because films make use of a sophisticated and knowledgeable style that is dominated by many ways like the mis-en-scene, narrative structure, lightning and sound.
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    The use of social media by AIDS Foundation of South Africa to promote HIV testing and prevention following the release of Universal Test and Treat policy in 2016.
    (2021) Ntshongwana, Yandisa.; Govender, Eliza Melissa.
    HIV prevention and testing are important in preventing the spread of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), but many people are still engaging in unsafe sexual practices. In 2015 the national Department of Health in collaboration with the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) initiated a policy called Universal Test and Treat (UTT) policy that sought to support and encourage more prevention and treatment towards HIV/AIDS. UTT policy as HIV prevention policy became effective to South Africa in 2016 to further promote HIV testing and prevention. The policy established some guidelines that sought to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS through reducing HIV infection and related death by 2020, with the UNAIDS recommending that 90% of people should know their HIV status, 90% of positive people should receive a sustained Antiretroviral treatment, and 90% of people receiving treatment should be viral suppressed (WHO, 2016). Much research was focused on preventive measures and barriers that prevented people from accessing health care services. The problem for the study is based on the effectiveness of social media platforms in communicating health information, to ascertain whether these platforms are effective or not in communicating HIV messages. From the literature reviewed there has not much studies done to explore the effectiveness of social media for HIV communication after the release of UTT Policy in 2016. This study focuses on the effectiveness of Facebook in promoting of HIV testing and prevention with the AIDS Foundation of South Africa (AFSA) page as the case study to explore the promotion of the UTT towards increased HIV prevention and testing efforts. This was done by using purposive sampling to purposely select posts that were posted by AIDS Foundation of South Africa on their Facebook page only posts on HIV testing and prevention following the release of UTT policy and these posts were collected from September 2016 to December 2019 and the researcher also explored ways in which AFSA messages reflect the national Department of Health HIV prevention and testing messages in the same year period. To understand the effectiveness of social media platforms in communicating HIV prevention messages, the qualitative content analysis was used to collect and interpret data gathered from AFSA’s and NDoH’s Facebook pages on HIV prevention and testing and public comments were also analysed and interpreted. The collected data from the qualitative content analysis was analysed through the use of thematic data analysis. The coding sheet for the two health organisations was established to create codes. Categories and themes were extracted from the coding process and further discussed. Social media health interaction theory provided the conceptual framework for the research to discuss the effectiveness of social media on health-related issues. The researcher found that social media such as Facebook is effective for HIV communication and AFSA as one of the key health organisations in South Africa was using these platforms to further promoted HIV testing and prevention from 2016 to 2019 following the release of UTT policy. Social media platforms are effective platforms that can be used to communicate health related messages particularly on HIV testing and prevention.
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    University of KwaZulu-Natal female students’ perceptions of female sexuality and influence on sexual behaviour and HIV and AIDS prevention.
    (2020) Masambuka, Tamanda Chipo.; Govender, Eliza Melissa.
    Young women in South Africa are four times fold infected and predisposed to HIV and Aids as compared to young men as well as women of other age groups. An area that has been highlighted as crucial in understanding the disparities and possibly providing insights on addressing the impact of the pandemic on young women is female sexuality. An understanding on female sexuality specifically contextual definitions, expectations associated with it and behaviours thereof, provides insights on parameters in which young women make sexual choices and decisions and implications on sexual behaviour and HIV and AIDS prevention choices. This paper explored how young women at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, located in what is recognised as the hotspot for HIV and AIDS in South Africa perceive and understand female sexuality within the university context however with a backdrop of their wider culture. The paper investigated the impact of the perceptions on young women’s sexual behaviour and implication on choices and decisions young women make in line with HIV and AIDS prevention. To achieve its set objectives, the paper mobilised Culture –centred approach and empowerment theory to offer a theoretical lens from which the topic was grounded, approached and interrogated. Using a qualitative approach to research, involving the use of a bodymapping exercise together with individual semi-structured interviews, data was collected involving eight female students of Zulu origin at Howard College campus, a constitute college of University of Kwazulu-Natal. Key findings of the study revealed that young women at the University of KwaZulu-Natal are faced with two main contrasting notions of female sexuality i.e. from the university and the community from where they draw perceptions on female sexuality. University notions of female sexuality were indicated to predominantly define sexuality in line with sexual freedom, independence while community notions were slanted towards sexual chastity, naivety and silence. The young women in the study suggested to be impacted by both contexts, choosing what to embrace or not based on personal reasons. In line with the impact of the perceptions on sexual choices, varying impacts were noted from one participant to another nevertheless, a majority of the participants exemplified being in control and empowered to make and enforce sexual choices and decisions in line with personal interests and agendas. In the same light, the participants exhibited an awareness and agency to make personal and empowered choices in relation to HIV and AIDS prevention for them and partners for instance condom use and HIV testing. Nevertheless, the study highlighted complacency as a stumbling block to making and enforcing HIV and AIDS prevention choices in the long run for instance continuous condom use, making them susceptible to HIV and AIDS infections. The study highlighted the need for narratives to normalise continuous condom usage as well as regular HIV testing for young women even in long term stable relationships to ensure protection for HIV and AIDS for young women.
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    The decoding of menstruation management advertisements by post menarcheal female adolescents in the eThekwini Municipality, KwaZulu Natal.
    (2021) Makoba, Luyanda Olwethu.; Steenfeldt-Kristensen, Sarah Elizabeth.
    This dissertation seeks to explore the understanding of adolescent girls of sanitary pad advertisements. This study believes that advertisements are a form of social communication and can provide adolescent girls with a means to communicate about a topic that is often stigmatised. Menstruation is a natural occurrence that is highly policed by society and cultural norms. It is a taboo topic that is shrouded in secrecy. There are socioeconomic ramifications for the secrecy around menstruation. Using cultural studies offer a way for those who have been marginalised in a social and academic space to be researched. This qualitative study wanted to understand the interpretations of the adolescent girls to be understood in depth. The study used focus groups with adolescent girls from quintile five schools. The encoding/decoding model was used as an interpretive framework Hall, 2006; [1980]). It used Libresse and Always advertisements. Semiotics, as an interpretive tool is utilised to uncover the latent meanings o analysis (Fiske, 1990; Chandler, 2007. The results of this study show that menstruation is a taboo and stigmatised topic that requires more conversation in relaxed settings. The participants agreed with many of the dominant readings that are held by society and are encoded in the advertisements.
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    Exploring HIV risk compensation among men with medical male circumcision uptake and oral pre-exposure prophylaxis use: a comparative study in Umlazi and Vulindlela in KwaZulu-Natal.
    (2021) Khanyile, Lungelo Englamerge.; Govender, Eliza Melissa.
    There were approximately 38.0 million people globally, living with HIV at the end of 2019 and Sub-Saharan Africa accounts for a third of those living with HIV. New biomedical HIV prevention methods such as mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT), antiretroviral treatment (ART) and voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) have shown great promise. Oral PrEP has the potential to greatly aid in the reduction of HIV infection rates among men. The study uses the concepts of the Health Belief Model (HBM), Social Ecology Model for Communication and Health Behaviour (SEMCHB), and the Risk Compensation Theory (RCT) to understand factors that influence the decision-making process of men when choosing biomedical HIV prevention options. These theories also enable an understanding of how individuals perceive risk, the benefits of safe behaviour, and how this is realized in their actions. In this qualitative study, four focus group discussions were conducted with African males ages 18 – 39 in Umlazi and Vulindlela, KwaZulu-Natal. Data was analysed using thematic analysis, applying the constructs of the HBM, SEMCHB and RCT to develop themes and sub-themes. Key findings revealed that perception of risk and perceived susceptibility were low among the men. However, perceived severity was high. The researcher also observed a lack of knowledge of HIV acquisition, and lack of proper knowledge of biomedical HIV prevention methods, VMMC and PrEP.
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    The role of culture in health care provision to people living with HIV (PLHIV) in uMkhanyakude District, north of KwaZulu-Natal: a nursing communication perspective.
    (2021) Mthethwa, Zandile Princess.; Dyll, Lauren Eva.
    Background: There is a sparse literature documenting the health-seeking behaviours of people living with HIV (PLHIV) who seek modern and traditional medicine and the cultural competence of nurses who provide healthcare services to them. The cultural practices of PLHIV who live in rural South Africa have an implication on their clinical outcomes. This study was conducted in order to explore ways in which nurses may / may not practice cultural competence in negotiating traditional and modern treatments for PLHIV and their communication, their practice of cultural sensitivity in their provision of care to PLHIV and to identify and analyse the benefits of cultural competence in nursing associated with PLHIV. Methodology and Theory: The study adopted a qualitative methodology using a phenomenological design which facilitated the collection of data through open-ended in-depth interviews with six nurses in uMkhanyakude district. The data was analysed thematically and interpreted using the culture-centred approach jointly with the cultural competence model. Results: The results showed that although all the nurses interviewed have been trained in Nursing Initiated Management of Antiretroviral Therapies (NIMART), but there was a lack of cultural competence. Their cultural awareness level differed and were low due to diverse barriers to cultural competence including the cultural imposition, the negative attitudes towards traditional medicine, lack of trust as an impediment to dialogic communication and the lack of cultural knowledge. Conclusion: Nurses need to learn cultural competency concerning the PLHIV they work with, in order to be able to learn to appreciate diversity, avoid prejudice and provide culturally sensitive care to PLHIV. It is also important for nurses to recognise and respect PLHIV cultural values in order to render culturally competent care and to prevent cultural imposition. Nurses should be aware and cognisant of the Campinha-Bacote’s five cultural constructs.