The Sylvia Forman Prize for outstanding graduate student paper has been awarded to Brady G’Sell, for her paper called, “Multiple Maternities: Maternal Repertoires and Support Seeking in South Africa." G’sell is a doctoral candidate in the Program in Anthropology and History. Her dissertation, Making Motherhood Work: Women’s Child Support Claims, Race, and the Remaking of Citizenship in South Africa,considers the livelihood strategies of single mothers in urban South Africa as a lens for thinking about the relationship between kinship, citizenship, and economy. Her work considers the lives of white and black women living in an inner-city neighborhood of Durban, South Africa between 1960 and 2014. Using 18 months of archival and ethnographic research, she tracked the different strategies of impoverished mothers as they supplemented state aid with resources such as cash, childcare, food, or clothing.
In her winning paper, she specifically analyzed the relationship between marriage and childcare in South Africa. G'sell looked at the dramatic shift of plummeting marriage rates and increasing unemployment rate, which led to a situation where women must draw upon an ever-expanding network of people and institutions to support themselves and their families. G'sell's paper was based on fieldwork conducted in South Africa between 2011 and 2015. The research was supported by supported by funding from Michigan’s African Studies Center, Department of African and Afroamerican Studies, Rackham International Research Grant, and from the National Science Foundation and the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research
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