Dr Adam Cooper

DEPARTMENT: Inclusive Economic Development (IED)
TELEPHONE: 021 466 8074
EMAIL: acooper@hsrc.ac.za

Dr Cooper holds a PhD from Stellenbosch University, which was completed as part of a split-site commonwealth scholarship with the University of Cambridge, Faculty of Education. He has an MA in Psychological Research and a BSOCSCI (hons) in Psychological Studies, both from the University of Cape Town. Before taking up a post-doc at the HSRC he was a National Research Foundation of South Africa postdoctoral scholar abroad, based at the Graduate Center at the City University of New York. His PhD research in the department of Education Policy Studies at Stellenbosch University was a multisite linguistic ethnography exploring different formal and informal educational places in one low-income Cape Town community. The research from his thesis was published as a Routledge monograph in 2017.

Dr Adam Cooper is a Senior Research Specialist in the Education and Skills Development research programme of the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC). Dr Cooper works on a theme of research called Youth and the Future of Work. His work lies at the intersection of the Sociologies of Youth and Education. His current research interests focus on the ideas that excite marginalized young South Africans and how these can be used to create educational and work-related opportunities for empowerment.

Prior to working fulltime on the completion of his PhD, he was a researcher for the Extra Mural Education Project, a Cape Town based NGO that used extra-murals in partnership with schools, attempting to transform schools into developmental hubs for their communities. He has worked as a researcher at the Centre for Social Science Research, UCT and a research assistant at the University of the Witwatersrand. He taught Sociology and Psychology at the Bronx Community College, City University of New York. Dr Cooper completed post-doctoral fellowships at the City University of New York Graduate Centre and in the Human and Social Development programme at the HSRC.

He is a co-editor of the Oxford University Press Handbook of Global South Youth Studies and an author of Studying While Black: race, education and emancipation in South African universities (HSRC Press). Dr Cooper has published peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters related to youth in South Africa, including pieces on critical pedagogy, language, gangs and masculinities of young men awaiting trial, a photovoice project conducted during the 2010 football world cup and research on a HIV/AIDS co-constructed curriculum project conducted with teachers at South African schools. He is currently engaged in projects that look at young people?s work in the tourism and public sectors and for SMMEs and their transitions from education into the world of work.