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University of Johannesburg

The Lived Experiences of Primary Female Factor Infertility Within the Social Context: A Phenomenological Study

Primary infertility may be overlooked as a major life event which can lead to major changes in social participation and self-identity. Although a readily expected conse-quence of infertility is childlessness, the social context proves to play a role in creating individually specific lived experiences. The aim of the study was to establish how the social context mediates the lived experiences of infertility in South African women with diverse social identities.

Professional identity formation at the undergraduate level: postgraduate students’ experiences at two South African universities

The South African higher education system still lags behind in terms of postgraduate output. Production is slow and not enough to meet the future demand of academics and knowledge creation. Studies have highlighted many reasons for the shortage.

On the Margins of Faith: A Critical Historical Study of Muslim Religious Identity and the Minority Ahmadi Community in Cape Town

The Ahmadi movement is one of the most controversial modern Muslim movements primarily for the reason of their unorthodox belief in the continuation of prophecy after the Prophet Muhammad and/or the belief that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was the fulfilment of the prophecy relating to the coming of a messiah and the return of Jesus.

Biological Naturalism: Dissolving the Explanatory Gap

‘The mind-body problem’ is the problem of how to understand conscious awareness within a world made up of physical things. But I argue that any view according to which it is meaningful to use different terms to refer to ‘the mind’ and ‘the body’ must be a dualist view; and that dualism is not a satisfactory metaphysical position. A strong case can be made for the claim that even those who profess to be opposed to dualism can often still be described as ‘closet’ dualists. Much typical ‘consciousness’ research concerns what David Chalmers calls ‘the easy problems of consciousness’. My own view is that almost all of Chalmers’ ‘easy problems’ could better be characterized as ‘problems to do with (‘conscious’) sense perception, and with cognition’. However, perception and cognition are very often not ‘conscious;’ therefore, I argue, approaching conscious experience by means of investigating perception or cognition is problematic. Just like perceptual and cognitive processes, psychological processes can take place without being (introspectively) ‘conscious’. I explain how Freud’s account of unconscious psychological processes enables him to understand psychical processes as similar in kind to other natural (physical) processes; and I dismiss a number of complaints from critics who have misunderstood Freud’s naturalist project. On the Freudian view, which I endorse, it is problematic to equate ‘what is mental’ with ‘what is conscious’. The considerations against conflating ‘the mind’ with ‘consciousness,’ I argue, are just as relevant within philosophy as they are in the context of psychoanalysis. The condition hydranencephaly (in which children are born with part of their brain missing) provides good evidence that we should not approach the mind-body by examining the functioning of the cerebral cortex – which goes against the prevalent ‘corticocentric’ view of ‘consciousness’. Whereas Mark Solms claims that hydranencephaly is problematic to the Freudian view, I argue that Freud’s view is well-suited to accommodating cases of hydranencephaly. Finally, I argue that, rather than talking about ‘the mind-body problem,’ we should use a biological naturalist framework to help us understand why there is no such problem. If we are able to free ourselves from our dualist intuitions, something along the lines of Panksepp’s ‘affect-centric’ view – which incorporates several commitments that are central to Freudian theory – is just what we need to help us understand the truly physical nature of conscious awareness.

Views of Muslim Religious Leaders On Violence Against Married Women

Muslim religious leaders are commonly accused of adopting a conservative interpretation of Islam that guides the way in which they counsel married women on their rights to divorce and how they should address violence in the marital context. They have also been viewed as favouring male-dominant positions, protecting abusive husbands and adopting a reconciliation-at-all-cost approach.

Livelihoods, Lifestyle Choices and the Construction of Young Women’s Realities in Ngangelizwe Township, Mthatha

Black women in South African continue to experience gender inequality that manifests through gender-based violence, underrepresentation of women in leadership positions at work as well as being subject to gender roles that leave them struggling to maintain a work-life balance. Hence this study aimed at examining the complex realities of women in Ngangelizwe Township, Mthatha, uncovering their agencies and how women draw from their agencies meet their aspirations.

Developing and Testing a Quality of Life Index for Children with Disabilities in South Africa

There is a paucity of investigations into the multidimensional quality of life (QoL) of children with disabilities in both developed and developing countries. The reasons for a lack of these investigations include the fact that QoL and disability are both dynamic and contested constructs, which affect how QoL is measured.