Dr Katinka De Wet
Senior Lecturer
S 24A
IB 41
051 4012918
Main Building: South Block 24A

Short CV

Katinka de Wet completed her undergraduate studies at the University of the Free State and obtained het PhD in Sociology in 2007 at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris, France. In 2008 she took up a position as researcher at the Centre for Health Systems Research & Development and in April 2011 she joined the Sociology Department of the University of the Free State. Her previous research focused mainly on issues pertaining to Human Resources for Health which culminated in several peer-reviewed, accredited articles. Currently her research concentrates on the demand-side of health care, notably in the public health care domain: her research project, co-investigated by Dr Edwin Wouters from the University of Antwerp in Belgium is aimed at performing a longitudinal study of how HIV-infection and its concomitant antiretroviral treatment (now freely available at public health care facilities) influence people’s identities, also referred to as "therapeutic citizenship" or "illness identities". With the generalised availability of treatment, HIV has become a chronic, manageable disease, which poses its own challenges for HIV-infected individuals in terms of regaining a sense of normalcy and hope, however within the prospect of livelong treatment, as well as within the constraints of omnipresent socio-economic adversity. This research uses the narrative approach to gain an in-depth, nuanced and contextualised account of the participants’ everyday life experiences. In 2009, she successfully completed a post-graduate diploma in international research ethics at the University of Cape Town. This invaluable qualification serves as a useful tool and experience to reflect on meta-scientific issues related to various areas of research, including her own. Through her involvement in the Prestige Scholars Programme (2011 – 2013), Dr de Wet initiated an invitation to the world renowned medical anthropologist, Prof Arthur Kleinman to visit the University of the Free State in February 2013. Together with Prof Christopher Colvin from the University of Cape Town, she arranged a colloquium during Prof Kleinman’s visit titled Constructions of illness and Identity: Subjectivity and Chronic Illness in the South African Context. Her future research interests are focused on public sociology especially in the field of illness and health.  

Publications (Short List)

De Wet, K & Wouters, E. 2016 “Identity and the body: Narrative accounts of two HIV-positive women with lipodystrophy in post-apartheid South Africa” Social Theory & Health, 14(3): 351-371.

Wouters E. & De Wet K. 2016 « Women’s experience of HIV as a chronic illness in South Africa: biographical disruption, hard-earned lives and hybrid identity” Sociology of Health and Illness, 38(4): 521-542.


Rispel, L.C., Blaauw, D., Chirwa, T. & De Wet, K. 2014. « Factors influencing agency nursing and moonlighting among nurses in South Africa”, Global Health Action, 7: 23585 (http://dx.doi.org/10.3402/gha.v7.23585)


De Wet, K. & Du Plooy, S. 2012. “’We are left in the cold’: perceptions and responses to antiretroviral treatment roll-out in the Free State, South Africa”, SAHARA Journal, 9(1): 30-40.



De Wet, K., 2012. “Redefining Volunteerism: the rhetoric of community home-based care in (the not so new) South Africa”, Community Development, 47(1): 111-125.


De Wet, K., Wouters, E. & Engelbrecht, E. 2011. “Exploring task-shifting practices in antiretroviral treatment facilities in the Free State Province, South Africa”, Journal of Public Health Policy, 32: S94-S101


Van Rensburg, H.C.J., Wouters, E. & De Wet, K. 2011. “The evolving socio-political context of CHW programmes in South Africa: Implications for historical analysis. A commentary on van Ginneken, Lewin and Berridge “the emergence of community health worker programmes in the late-apartheid era in South Africa: An historical analysis (2010)”, Social Science and Medicine, 72: 1021-1024.


De Wet, K. 2010. “The importance of ethical appraisal in social science research: reviewing a Faculty of Humanities’ Research Ethics Committee”, Journal of Academic Ethics, 8(4): 301-314.


De Wet, K. 2010. “Les trois âges de la santé communautaire en Afrique du Sud“, Sciences Sociales et Santé, 28 (3) : 85-106


De Wet, K. 2002. “La société civile sud-africaine se mobilise dans la lutte contre le sida”, Humanitaire, n° 6, pp.43-48



Area(s) of Interest


  • Medical Sociology - Medicine and related issues such as illness or health through a sociological lens

  • Qualitative Research Methodologies

  • Research ethics

  • Public Sociology

Courses Presented

SOCT3718: Social Theory. The focus of this module is on different sociological paradigms: the classical paradigms, race paradigms; Western Marxist and critical paradigms; phenomenology; post modernism; structurationist paradigms; feminism; globalisation paradigms and the multi-paradigmatic status of sociological theory.

SOCR3728: Social Research and Practice. This module deals with the research process to introduce students to the scientific world of collecting and interpreting data and understanding issues pertaining to research traditions (positivist paradigm; interpretivist paradigm; critical paradigm); as well as issues related to ethics in research. The focus of the applied exercises is on quantitative research whereas students are also introduced - albeit in a more theoretical manner - to qualitative research.

SOCT6808: Honours - Sociological Theory. The focus of this module is on theories that take a critical stance to the formation and perpetuation of centrifugal social forces in late modern societies and by making use of contemporary social realities to understand these theories.

SOCR6808: Honours – Social Research. This module develops students’ grasp of the social research processes including various methodologies. Students are expected to develop their own research project that is supervised by senior staff members.


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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