Sharlene Swartz, PhD

Board Member

Sharlene Swartz is a research director at the Human Sciences Research Council in South Africa and an associate professor of sociology at University of Cape Town. She holds undergraduate degrees from Wits in Life Sciences and University of Zululand in Theology, a Master's degree in Education from Harvard University, and a PhD from University of Cambridge.

Her expertise and current research centers on youth development in adverse contexts, interpersonal and communal notions of restitution, emancipatory qualitative research methods, and the effects of race on educational outcomes. Before embarking on graduate studies, Sharlene spent twelve years at a faith-based youth NGO where she pioneered peer-led social justice programmes for schools and was the director of fieldwork programmes.

She has published widely in academic journals and has authored or edited seven books, including Ikasi: the moral ecology of South Africa’s township youth (2009); Teenage Tata: Voices of Young Fathers in South Africa (2009); Youth citizenship and the politics of belonging (2013); and Another Country: Everyday Social Restitution (2016). She is a visiting fellow at the Harvard FXB Center for Health and Human Rights and University of Cambridge’s Political and International Studies Department. She is also currently the chair of the Restitution Foundation.