Dr Elsa Crause
Chief Officer 10-15hpw
Office of the Dean: Economic and Management Sciences
Sociology Department
Qwaqwa Campus
058 7185346
Sports Facilities

Short CV

Elsa enrolled as a student at the University of Port Elizabeth (UPE) (now called Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University) where she obtained a BA (Social work) BA Hons (Sociology) (cum laude) and an MA (Sociology) (cum laude). She holds a DPhil from the Faculty of Commercial and Management Sciences, University of the North in Qwaqwa, entitled Empowering the workforce: an industrial psychological and sociological study.

She started her career as a social worker in the Prisons Department, and joined the staff at UPE after completing her Honours degree part-time. She lectured at three different South African universities’ Department of Sociology during the past 30 years (Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, University of the Free State, University of the North, Qwaqwa campus) and was tasked with under- and post-graduate work and curriculum and programme development at these institutions. During this time she served in various capacities at universities and was involved in a number of academic projects. These include, among other, Dean of the Faculty of Human Sciences, University of the North, Qwaqwa campus, chair and member of various committees, and Faculty Co-ordinator of post-graduate studies and of research (UNIN, Qwaqwa). She is currently a Senior Lecturer and Head of the Department of Sociology at the University of Free State’s Qwaqwa campus.

She received various awards and special recognition, such as the ACVV merit award for the best student in Social Work, H.S.R.C funding for the master’s degree and the Gencor bronze medal for sciences for the best master’s degree thesis at UPE in 1983. She was a member of the United States-South Africa Leadership Exchange Program (USSALEP) young academics team to the USA. She was also a member of a group of academics selected to attend seminars which focused on China studies at the National Cheng Chi University in Taipei. She received financial assistance from the Dean`s Fund to read a paper at the 16th International Consortium for Social Development in Monterrey, Mexico, in 2009.

She has served as consultant for various organisations such as People Solutions in Cape Town, and has undertaken a number of contractual research projects, such as Youth employment in action: Case studies of four youth employment initiatives in Southern Africa, with M Booyens (2004) which was published by Yes Development Network, CCMA House, Johannesburg. Her current work is on the professionalisation of community development workers.

Elsa is a member of the South African Sociological Association, the Board of Personnel Practitioners and is a registered social worker. She is a member of the International Consortium for Social Development (ICSD) and has been a full member of die Akademie vir Wetenskap en Kuns since 2010. Her areas of expertise and research interest includes applied social research, research methodology, community development and youth studies (focusing on inclusion, transition and empowerment issues) and organisational behaviour as well as teaching Sociology.

Her recent publications include the following:

  • Crause E.J. and Booyens M.G. Demographic tragedy or opportunity: Are macro issues necessitating a new social contract with youth in South Africa? Commonwealth Youth and Development, Vol 8, no 2, 2010.
  • Booyens, M.G. and Crause E.J. Lessons from Andiamo, Malawi, on grassroots development and Globalization from below. Development Southern Africa, Vol 26, no1, March 2009.

Most recent conferences papers (2011):

  • Conference of the British Sociological Association at the London School of Economics in the UK ‘Comparing social structures and life transitions of two rural groups of excluded youth in South Africa: Role transitions and power structures in households’.
  • XVII conference of the South African Sociological Association at University of Pretoria.: `The household structures, lifestyles and role expectations of 20 excluded rural youths in Qwaqwa, in the Eastern Free State: A Qualitative study`.
  • Research cluster on sustainable development and poverty alleviation: Knowledge and Development: A Research Showcase for the QwaQwa Region. QwaQwa campus “Interagency collaboration: UFS and Dept of Social Development in the Eastern Free State”.

Area(s) of Interest

Youth studies, transitions, empowerment and accessibility or inclusion - Studies in the trends and inclusion of youth, their role transitions and ways to empowerment and inclusion within society.

Community development - Both the practice and theoretical analysis of community development

Development studies - The broader field and context of development and globalisation


T: +27 51 401 2240 or humanities@ufs.ac.za

Marizanne Cloete: +27 51 401 2592

Katlego Mabulana: +27 51 401 2495
Juanita Hlongwane: +27 51 401 3269

Humanities photo next to contact block

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