Alison Swartz

SASH Fellow 2014 – 2015



Alison is currently working on a PhD in Public Health at UCT. Her PhD is investigating the ways that youth coming of age in Khayelitsha navigate threats and opportunities to health and wellbeing. She has a background in social anthropology and environmental sciences but completed a Masters in Public Health in 2011 at UCT. Her research thus far has focused on community health workers in Khayelitsha. Alison currently works as a part-time lecturer in the new Division of Social and Behavioural Sciences in the School of Public Health and Family Medicine. She helps to teach qualitative research methods to MPH students. Since 2009 Alison has also worked in a range of capacities teaching and developing curricula for study abroad programs with American undergraduate students.

Research Topic

“Coming of Age in Khayelitsha‘: Navigating threats and opportunities to health and wellbeing” (2014, SASH)

Alison’s PhD project explores the experiences of young people growing up in Town Two, Khayelitsha. This ethnographic project follows a small cohort of young people, looking at how they navigate and experience threats and opportunities to their health. Specific areas of enquiry include questions related to HIV, sexuality, violence, substance abuse and challenges to mental health.